Crystal Diagnostics device shows Ebola reading within 20 minutes

Crystal Diagnostics device shows Ebola reading within 20 minutes. | Courtesy of Crystal Diagnostics
Crystal Diagnostics (CDx) announced on Thursday that its Xpress System has been successful in detecting a live Ebola virus sample within 20 minutes at the University of Texas Galveston Medical Branch Biosafety Level 4 facility.

The system utilizes liquid crystal technology combined with paramagnetic microspheres, which are specific to antibody signatures of the Ebola virus, specifically the Zaire strain.

"We are delighted with the initial results, and following field trials and U.S. Food and Drug Administration device approval, we look forward to contributing to the fight against this deadly disease," CDx President and CEO Jim Bruce said.

The company specializes in the development of detection devices for use in the food and beverage industry. Their main product focus has been in the detection of food-borne illnesses; the Ebola virus device will be the company's first to operate outside of food safety applications.

Robert Garry, principal investigator of the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium and professor of immunology and microbiology at the School of Medicine of Tulane University, stated that the CDx device offers more advantageous results than other rapid detection devices that have been developed for the virus. He attributes these advantages to the device's speed and consistency.

The company has sought grant funding for further development of the Xpress System from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the Paul Allen Foundation.