Positive ID Corp. launces ricin identifier

Positive ID Corporation recently announced the launch of an immunodetection assay for the identification of the biological agent ricin.

Positive ID, a developer of medical technologies for diabetes management, clinical diagnostics and biological threat detection, developed the new ricin assay with funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technologies division, according to News.Yahoo.com.

Ricin, produced from the seeds of the castor oil plant, is considered a potent potential terrorist weapon because of its toxicity and the ease with which it can be made.

MicroFluidic Systems, a subsidiary of PositiveID, was responsible for the assay’s original development. MFS also recently developed a triplex assay system for the simultaneous identification of ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B and botulinum.

"Our assay for the identification of ricin toxin, which has the potential to be used as an agent of biological warfare, relies on proven and well understood technologies,” Lyle Probst, the vice president of programs at MFS, said, PositiveIDCorp.com reports. “In a recent evaluation of our immunodetection assay for ricin compared to the current gold standard method of identification, the MFS Assay for the identification of ricin is equivalent or better. As an additional advantage, with minimal effort, this assay can be reconfigured to fit other commercial platforms."