By G.P. Thomas
PositiveID has achieved a key development in evaluating its Microfluidics-based Bioagent Autonomous Networked Detector (M-BAND) as part of its preparation to submit a proposal for the Department of Homeland Security's BioWatch procurement worth $3 billion.
PositiveID’s M-BAND system identifies five organisms mentioned in the CDC Select Agents List, a key prerequisite for BioWatch. The early warning system, M-BAND was developed by MFS for the Department of Homeland Security. It can detect the presence of aerosolized biological agents released deliberately.
The M-BAND system operates autonomously for up to one month between scheduled service cycles to constantly analyze air samples, particularly in high-traffic regions, for detecting toxins, viruses, and bacteria. It reports results within 3h. These results from each M-BAND system are sent in real time through a secure wireless network to present a precise and recent status of fielded devices collectively.
The M-BAND system delivers high operational flexibility. It can be remotely installed for the detection of either DNA-based pathogens alone or with or without either RNA-based toxins or organisms. It can also simultaneously detect all three kinds of pathogens at remotely programmable intervals. It offers various benefits over competitive products, including a small footprint, reduced operating costs and consumable, and a closed operating environment. It uses industry gold-standard TaqMan PCR chemistry for operation.
Besides bidding for BioWatch, PositiveID is also working on submitting proposals for over $16 million contract opportunities from six government agencies for its M-BAND and Dragonfly Rapid MDx Cartridge-based diagnostic system. PositiveID’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, William J. Caragol stated that the M-BAND system not only outperforms competitive products but also offers a comparatively lower cost of ownership.