LexaGene Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: LXXGF) (TSX-V:LXG), which has developed a first of its kind pathogen detection technology capable of detecting over 28 pathogens in under an hour, including some of the most dangerous bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli. LexaGene believes it’s easier and less expensive technology is a better detection solution, and could play a huge role in the identification of potentially deadly bacteria and viruses.
LexaGene and their investors who have put up over $10M in the last year expect their pathogen detection instrument to significantly reduce instances of food recalls due to the shipping of contaminated food items. In addition, this technology should provide the company with exposure to the $13.5 billion food safety industry that has been struggling with food recalls for decades.
Just recently on October 5th, JBS Tolleson began recalling nearly 7M pounds of “various raw, non-intact beef products” due to an outbreak of salmonella, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Thursday. The recalled products were packaged between July 26 and September 7 and were sold nationwide under brand names Walmart, Cedar River Farms Natural Beef, Showcase, Walmart and JBS Generic. Fifty-seven cases of salmonella illness linked to this outbreak were reported in 16 states between August 5 and September 6. Fourteen patients from this outbreak have been hospitalized, but thankfully no deaths have been reported.
Also in the news was Yuma, Arizona, where E. coli, had contaminated romaine lettuce grown, and distributed nationwide. At least 210 people in 36 states were sickened. Five died and 27 suffered kidney failure. The same strain of E. coli that sickened them was detected in a Yuma canal used to irrigate some crops. The deadly Yuma outbreak underscores that irrigation water is a prime source of foodborne illnesses. In some cases, the feces of livestock or wild animals flow into a creek. Then the tainted water seeps into wells or is sprayed onto produce, which is harvested, processed and sold at stores and restaurants. Even other food products are affected. After conducting a months-long investigation, the Food and Drug Administration has also recently issued mandatory recall orders for products containing Kratom amidst concerns they triggered a large outbreak of Salmonellosis.
The primary concern is the amount of time it takes to identify the bacteria in items before they are shipped to consumers. However, Industry Leaders are also looking for solutions that Save Time, Money, and Get More Accurate Results so these disasters for the victims, and their businesses, can be averted.
Dr. Jack Regan, CEO of LexaGene, shared his insight in a recent company press release:
“Automation removes the costs associated with paying an individual to manually process the sample. It also removes some of the variability seen when different microbiologists process the same sample, as many have small variations in technique that can quite drastically change the result.
In addition, manual testing is more likely to be prone to false-positives due to user-caused cross-contamination. Automated instruments can run 24/7, which is very helpful for plants that are operational 24 hours a day”.
Movement into the Healthcare Sector
On October 19th, 2018 LexaGene Holdings Inc. unveiled a model of its low-cost LX2™ Beta Prototype at the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) conference in Kansas City, MO. The biotechnology company plans to apply the technology to help healthcare providers diagnose patients.
Currently, healthcare providers collect samples from patients and ship them to an offsite laboratory, a process that usually takes days to send and receive results.
Healthcare Providers will now be able to identify the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in an hour.
Providers will also be able to treat patients with more targeted therapies while they are still in the facility. The biotechnology company expects the technology to be the world’s first easy-to-use open access rapid pathogen detection system. By using the LX2, vets would no longer have to send samples to labs as they could have results within one hour, helping healthcare professionals and vets find an accurate diagnosis faster.
“The veterinarians at our hospital are happy that LexaGene has listened to our suggestions and are specifically building an instrument to meet our needs in the Emergency/Critical Care and Internal Medicine departments. We currently lack reliable point-of-care diagnostics for infectious diseases and need an instrument that is small enough to fit into our cramped hospital, yet has the screening potential to look for many diseases at once. The fact that LexaGene’s technology will also look for some antimicrobial resistance factors is a huge plus,” said Dr. Samuel Stewart, DVM, DACVECC, Emergency and Critical Care veterinarian at Ethos Discovery.
LexaGene’s CEO, Dr. Jack Regan added:
“Our veterinary partners are thrilled about the increased screening capability of the LX2 and its smaller footprint. Incorporating this technology into a veterinary practice will provide better patient outcomes since the technology also looks for antimicrobial resistance, which will allow clinicians to make more informed decisions on prescribing the appropriate antibiotic. Furthermore, by bringing the testing in-house, practices will tap into a valuable revenue stream that will drive adoption rates.”
On August 26, 2017 and September 9, 2017, FOX Business Network aired an episode of Innovations with Ed Begley Jr. featuring LexaGene. Watch a video of the segment:
The LX2 is the very first fully automated pathogen detection platform that is open-access, empowering end-users to target any pathogen of interest, as they can load their own real-time PCR assays onto the instrument for customized pathogen detection.
The instrument is expected to offer excellent sensitivity, specificity, and breadth of pathogen detection, as well as will be able to process multiple samples at a time, in an on-demand fashion, returning results in about 1 hour. End-users simply need to collect a sample, load it onto the instrument with a sample preparation cartridge, and press ‘go’. The company expects to sell its technology in the veterinary diagnostics market, food safety market, and more.
LexaGene’s PCR-based technology is designed to be placed inside the clinic, where it can screen samples for multiple targets at once, and return results in about one hour.
The LX2 System is a low cost, small-footprint instrument perfectly suited for veterinary clinics as it takes less than a minute to initiate automated sample processing. This breakthrough technology will provide practitioners with the information they need to better treat their patients, while also allowing their practice to assume control over an important incremental revenue stream.
The instrument’s ability to return results in just one hour is a drastic improvement over the currently used standard culture methods that require shipping samples to laboratories, where results don’t become available for three or more days.
LexaGene’s solution for faster and more accurate results will improve health outcomes, lower the overall cost of care, and lead to increased profitability for the practice.
A Credible Threat to the Food Industry
The CDC estimates that 265,000 STEC infections occur each year in the United States. These outbreaks not only cause illness and even death to consumers, but are devastating to the company that has created the problem. Lexagene’s technology will be able to help prevent these from happening, saving major corporations millions of dollars.
JBS Tolleson Inc October 2018
JBS Tolleson is recalling 6,500,966 pounds of “various raw, non-intact beef products” due to an outbreak of salmonella the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Thursday.
Fifty-seven cases of salmonella illness linked to this outbreak were reported in 16 states between August 5 and September 6.
Yuma AZ Lettuce April 2018
On April 13 the CDC reported its investigation focused on chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, region.
The CDC reported a final number of infected people of 197 in 35 states. A total of five deaths have been reported.
I.M. Healthy Brand SoyNut Butter January 2017
12 state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli
On March 30, 2017, the FDA says no food products may be sold or distributed by the Dixie Dew Products, Inc. facility in Erlanger, Kentucky
32 illnesses have been reported from 12 states
Chipotle November 2015
Chipotle announces it has closed 43 restaurants in Oregon and Washington.
The CDC reported that 53 people were infected in nine states.
It cost them over 3 years of earnings and brought sales down over 15%, sending their stock plummeting.
No Major Corporation wants to go through that, so they are investing in preventative measures.
An Opportune Time to Invest in LexaGene?
In an industry where there are 2.6 billion tests every year, LexaGene’s new instrument is a game-changer. This $13.6 billion market is in desperate need, and LexaGene could help the industry avoid damaging recalls and save lives by catching any pathogens before products hit the shelves.
From an investor’s perspective, there is no better time to get involved.
Their technology is tried-and-tested with over 20 years of development and previous versions used by the National Institute of Health and the Department of Homeland Security in high-profile areas such as the Olympics and Grand Central Station, New York City. The production of LexaGene’s beta product began in October, and this helps to eliminate much of the risk investors face when supporting revolutionary new technologies.
There are risks associated with an early investment like LexaGene, but having raised over $10M in the last year, they are primarily mitigated by its intensive market analysis demonstrating clear pain points and its working alpha prototype. LexaGene is also operating in the biotech market where large acquisitions are commonplace, facilitating a more natural exit strategy for investors.
The fact is that LexaGene’s product will revolutionize safety standards and save lives across America. Early investors who believe in this company and its product will not only make the strongest positive impact with their funds but also reap the greatest rewards.
There is no better moment than now to invest in LexaGene (OTCQB:LXXGF) (TSX.V:LXG).
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