Molecular diagnostics company Genetic Signatures (ASX: GSS) has announced a major new contract with a large Australian pathology service provider and release of two new products.
Genetic Signatures secured the contract with an Australian pathology service provider and expects its new customer to conduct as many as 1,000 tests per day, depending on the severity of the flu season.
The new sales contract means its second generation EasyScreen Respiratory Pathogen Detection Kit will be sold on per test basis to a major pathology service which will also employ Genetic Signatures’ proprietary workflow solution: the GS1-HT System.
The diagnostics company manufactures a range of tests and detection kits for various viruses and “superbugs” that make hospital healthcare more challenging and increasingly difficult as pathogens build resistance to antibiotics.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), respiratory viral infections are responsible for the deaths of an estimated 3.9 million people per year, and one of the top five causes of mortality worldwide.
The WHO estimates that in addition to increasing the risk of secondary bacterial infections, respiratory viruses cause an enormous burden to health systems by way of direct medical expenses and indirect productivity losses.
Rapid identification of viral respiratory infection is therefore critical in initiating antiviral treatment and limiting the spread of the infection.
In May, Genetic received Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) registration allowing the sale of its novel “Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase and Carbapenemase Producing Organisms” (ESBL & CPO) detection kit in Australia.
This follows the company’s receipt of European approval last month which enabled the sale of the ESBL & CPO products across Europe.
Pathogen detection solution
The EasyScreen Respiratory Pathogen Detection Kit leverages the company’s proprietary molecular diagnostic (MDx) 3base platform technology.
The kit can simultaneously detect 14 common respiratory pathogens including Influenza A & B, Rhinovirus and M. pneumoniae. Also, the kit can make accurate diagnoses in approximately 4.5 hours with minimal hands-on time for laboratory technicians.
Meanwhile, the GS1-HT system serves as a supplementary tool that helps technicians to evaluate data obtained by the EasyScreen kit.
The GS1-HT is a high-throughput, proprietary workflow automation system that has been designed to optimise sample processing with EasyScreen assays, as well as other general laboratory processes.
The GS1-HT allows customers to reduce the processing time by approximately 45 minutes with runs of up to 96 samples. This results in an increase in throughput of up to 15% relative to existing instrumentation.
Genetic says that a successful product launch is expected to provide an immediate boost to domestic revenues and help accelerate global sales.
“The new sales contract and the launch of the second-generation EasyScreen Respiratory Pathogen Detection Kit and the GS1-HT marks a major milestone for Genetic Signatures. We are pleased to be positively impacting patient care, having rolled out the products to our customer ahead of the start of the flu season. Although sales of the respiratory tests are dependent on the severity of the flu season, we anticipate sales of approximately 1,000 tests per day during peak flu season for this customer, creating a significant boost to our domestic business,” said Dr John Melki, CEO of Genetic Signatures.
Dr Melki added that “the contract has been achieved via our innovation and development of the 3base platform technology and the supply of our proprietary workflow automation system (GS1-HT), which allows for consistently high levels of throughput to deliver rapid results during peak flu season.”
Keeping tight-lipped about the exact identity of its new customer, Genetic says its new customer creates an opportunity to supply up to 1,000 tests per day during peak flu season and approximately 100-200 outside of the flu season.
The customer is currently consuming approximately 400 tests per day in the lead up to peak flu season, usually occurrent sometime in September-October each year in Australia. Genetic says the timing has been chosen to maximise the value of the deal as flu season approaches.
Following this morning’s news, Genetic Signatures shares were trading up 9% at $0.445 per share.