MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of new products within the life sciences market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes iCubate with the 2012 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Product Innovation. iCubate has developed the new version of a "gold standard" polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrument. The revolutionary instrument has the ability to perform simple extraction, amplification, and detection, all in a multiplexed, automated, and closed system. Given the potential for this platform to be used in both research and clinical laboratory settings in the future, iCubate is poised for significant growth as it gains awareness in the marketplace.
"Academic and diagnostic researchers like the ability to multiplex their PCR reactions, but as long as the assay remains open to the air, contamination will occur and skew results," said Frost & Sullivan Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird. "The iCubate platform resolves this issue, integrating all PCR steps in an entirely closed instrument with very little hands-on time and virtually no chance for assay contamination."
The iCubate platform consists of the iC-Cassette™, iC-Processor™, iC-Reader™, and iC-Report™ Software. At the heart of the technology is the single-use iC-Cassette™, which comes preloaded with all reagents needed for detection and amplification of a sample. The design of the iC-Cassette™ also ensures that high concentration amplicons contained in the assay do not contaminate a laboratory and, thus, other reactions. Each iC-Cassette™ contains an assay-specific barcode on the outside, which informs the iC-Reader™ and iC-Processor™ which assay protocol is required and how to report the results.
iC-Cassettes™ will be available preloaded with multiplex panels for viral and bacterial respiratory diseases, flu strains, Staph infections, STDs, bacteria involved in diarrhea, and many others. One to four iC-Cassettes™ can be placed in the iC-Processor™ at a time, where computer-controlled robotics perform automated nucleotide extraction, PCR amplification, hybridization, and washing procedures.
No single PCR instrument on the market possesses all of these important features until the iCubate open platform. This unique system employs iCubate's proprietary arm-PCR technology (Amplicon Rescued Multiplex PCR) and PPI (Polymerase Preference Index) algorithm for highly specific and sensitive multiplexed PCR. Initially launched for research use only, iCubate's closed cassette will make the platform particularly useful for clinical settings with strict regulations.
While iCubate expands its line of preloaded iC-Cassettes™ internally, it provides its software free to assay developers. Researchers may use the software to develop their own assays, which iCubate will then assemble into cassettes, optimize, and validate. iCubate can then reproduce the cassettes and make them available at the iC-Store™ with a 70/30 percent split of profit, with the developer receiving the larger portion. In order to run these cassettes, users will need to purchase the iCubate platform. This unique business model provides incentive for developers to expand the content available for use on the iCubate platform.
Early adopters of the platform have already recognized the technology's utility for a wide range of applications, even outside of biomedical research. "A few of the interesting applications for which researchers are developing iCubate assays include research on invasive plants, fungal infections of golf course grass, food safety, and veterinarian diseases," noted Bird. "Given the broad range of applications that can utilize the innovative system, iCubate holds a tremendous potential customer base and promises strong growth in the future."
For its commitment to technology innovation and employing a customer-focused business model to enable faster breakthroughs in a wide range of applications, iCubate is the ideal recipient of the Frost & Sullivan 2012 North America Product Innovation Award for PCR Technology.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it offers customers, which increases customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
iCubate, Incorporated is a privately held molecular diagnostic company based in Huntsville, Ala. The company is housed in the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. The iCubate System uses breakthrough, proprietary technology, arm-PCR, and its innovative platform to accurately and rapidly detect multiple pathogens in one test. Currently, the iCubate System is available for non-clinical, research-use only. See icubate.com for more information.
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