Grant awarded to Idaho Technologies to create military evaluation for its respiratory panel

A $3.3 million grant has been awarded to Idaho Technologies by the U.S. Defense Threat Agency to aid in continued development of the company's FilmArray PCR platform.

FilmArray PCR, a respiratory panel, is able to detect adenovirus; bocavirus; coronavirus 229E, HKU1, OC43, and NL63; influenza A, A H1, A H1 2009, A H3, and B; metapneumovirus; parainfluenza 1, 2, 3, and 4; respiratory syncytial virus; and rhinovirus.

Idaho Technologies plans to utilize the grant to pursue a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments waiver from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow the system, which is currently only available for research, to be used in non-CLIA labs by operators without technical training.

Currently, Idaho Technologies said in a statement, ""no technology for pathogen identification exists that is capable of identifying numerous pathogens simultaneously, has integrated sample preparation, occurs in less than an hour, and is CLIA-waived for use by novice laboratory personnel."

Philip Maggi, vice president of external affairs at Idaho Technology, said that FilmArray is primarily marketed for commercial use but that the CLIA waiver study would allow for a military utility evaluation on the system for specific military uses. Maggi also said that the system would provide the military with an almost real-time force protection capability.

FilmArray, which can identify and detect 22 upper respiratory diseases, was designed to be easy to use and run by any trained operator.