ITHACA, N.Y. — Rheonix Inc., a developer of fully automated molecular testing solutions, has established the Rheonix Innovation Center to allow the company to continue to develop core technology within its expansive intellectual property portfolio. The center is adjacent to the company’s new headquarters in Ithaca, N.Y.
Employees within the center will be tasked with applying Rheonix’s technical capabilities to solving molecular testing challenges outside the traditional scope of automated molecular diagnostics, such as multiplexed oncology assays from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, next-generation sequencing library creation and immunoassay testing with confirmatory nucleic acid analysis. Expanded automation for these powerful tools will broaden their applicability and help address problems facing physicians, laboratorians and patients, including workforce shortages, limited access to advanced molecular testing and escalating costs. In addition, the center will provide a means for Rheonix to combine efforts with academic research centers, industry leaders and others in the search for solutions to medical diagnostic issues.
“As we have transitioned to a product-driven, commercial entity and our business development efforts attract interest from outside investigators in academia and industry, the need for the Innovation Center has become apparent,” said Tony Eisenhut, Rheonix president. “We can now facilitate those efforts through a rapid-response team of scientists and engineers who are dedicated to broadening and advancing our technology platform in diverse areas and collaborating with others. We have already seen the value of this approach in working with multiple partners who are servicing a variety of market applications.”
Peng Zhou, senior vice president for research and chief scientific officer at Rheonix and holder of 14 U.S. patents, will lead the Innovation Center. Zhou envisions it as a way to pursue practical applications of the company’s existing technology, which includes the Chemistry and Reagent Device (CARD® ), a device the size of a smartphone that can run multiple samples through a fully integrated molecular assay with no user intervention.
Once a raw sample is placed on the Rheonix CARD, the automated platform runs with no user intervention through the process of sample extraction, DNA purification, amplification and detection. This eliminates the need for multiple pieces of existing equipment, helping to make the testing process quicker, more efficient, less expensive and less likely to result in human error.
“The Innovation Center will enable us to pursue practical applications, such as migrating a partner’s test application to our CARD format, and speed up the commercialization process with our partners,” Zhou said. “Once we demonstrate the feasibility of assays intended for clinical purposes, we can move the remainder of the development efforts into our robust design control system to prepare for any subsequent regulatory filings both inside and outside the U.S.”
For more information, please visit www.rheonix.com.