PositiveID files Firefly Dx patent

The PositiveID Corporation filed a patent on Wednesday for their polymerase chain reaction (PCR) pathogen detection system, called Firefly Dx.

The device is able to deliver diagnostic results in a handheld device within 20 minutes. 

"This patent filing demonstrates the advances we have made in developing and miniaturizing our real-time PCR chip, which is the engine of the Firefly Dx system," Chairman and CEO William J. Caragol said. "Based on our years of experience with PCR testing, we are confident that the advanced technology underlying this patent filing brings us another step closer to bringing Firefly Dx to the large PCR market, which is in need of a system that can provide rapid results anywhere, anytime."

The company states that with this device point-of-need diagnostics can be made in cases of outbreaks of disease such as influenza and potentially Ebola and Marburg virus diseases. Currently, results can be determined by lab-based equipment and can take hours or even days to get a viable result, options that are not conducive to an outbreak environment, especially in remote or underdeveloped areas.

The company predicts that the PCR detection market will grow to approximately $27.4 billion within this year, citing a study from Research and Markets.