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BeadCAP-DNA: 30-minute on-site DNA test kit

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BeadCAP-DNA (BeadCAP-DNA: 30-minute on-site DNA test kit)

Reporting period: 2014-10-01 to 2015-01-31

The aims of this 4-month SME-Inst. Phase-1 feasibility study of : ‘BeadCAPTM 30-min on-site DNA test kit’ were :
a. validation of market analysis & product definition
b. perform food-DNA trials to assess technical risks & commercial feasibility
c. investigate technology transfer from EU food-analysis researchers
d. investigate technology manufacturing assistance by EU sub-contractors
e. improve our ISO/GMP regulatory affairs & risk-assessment understanding.
We are pleased to report good progress on each of these. Meat-species DNA on-site testing for food-integrity was validated by many potential supermarket customers – and potential technology partners. We carried out a commercial beef-genotyping contract, which provided valuable DNA-marker validation, and led to further commercial BeadCAP engagement with the commissioning meat company.
Instead of some planned GMO-food-DNA testing, we changed focus to allergens, which has become a topical food-safety issue in recent months. We successfully demonstrated Peanut-DNA capture & detection in our BeadCAP assay.
We signed a technology-transfer agreement with an Italian university to commercialise some of their food-DNA research; AltraTech staff are currently in Italy for training. The director of a French food-quality research institute also visited AltraTech in Ireland, to provide training and consultancy. This may lead to further engagement.
We have received a prototype benchtop reader and cartridges from a German microfluidics company, and are currently embedding our BeadCAP sensor chips into these cartridges. We engaged ISO/GMP experts PBC Ltd to train our team on ISO17025/ISO13485 requirements, risk-assessment, and Design-History-Folder preparation. These technology subcontractor relationships will significantly reduce our implementation and commercialisation risks.
The feasibility study is positive, we intend to progress with BeadCAP technology development, with further customer and partner investment support, - and perhaps further Horizon 2020 support also. The need for on-site fast DNA testing is strongly validated by the positive customer and partner feedback we’ve received. Food-fraud incidents continue worldwide ; and the recent spate of food-recalls due to allergen contamination in US, and new allergen legislation in Europe, further validates the need for fast definitive DNA testing, on-site, and in the hands of consumers – which we aim to be the first to provide.