Thermal Gradient Announces DNA Testing Speed and Cost Breakthrough

ROCHESTER, N.Y., May 13, 2014 – Researchers at Thermal Gradient have achieved a major breakthrough in DNA testing. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a step that is required in virtually every molecular (DNA/RNA) diagnostic test and currently takes an hour or more to complete. Thermal Gradient performs this vital step in less than one minute in quarter-sized disposable devices in a system that fits in the palm of one’s hand.

“Thermal Gradient stands alone in our ability to do one minute PCR under real-world conditions,” says Robert Juncosa, Thermal Gradient’s CEO.  “Our demonstrations of clinically relevant tests will be the basis for products for the rapid identification of infectious agents.  Shorter test times mean quicker decisions for treatment that will save patient’s lives and reduce healthcare costs.”

“We have demonstrated this capability for targets like HIV, Malaria, and MRSA which require high sensitivity and a specific test sample volume,” says Christopher Juncosa, manager of Thermal Gradient’s laboratory operations.

Axela, a Canadian diagnostic company, has been working with Thermal Gradient’s demonstration platform.

“We have worked with the system in our laboratories over the last year on both oncology and pathogen applications,” said Paul Smith, President and COO at Axela.  “We have been very impressed with the performance and are working together to incorporate Thermal Gradient devices in our next generation platform.  The fast turnaround times required by our first application are now achievable by combining Thermal Gradient’s amplification and Axela’s multiplex detection technologies.”

Thermal Gradient expects that these unprecedented performance advances and the low cost of the devices will open new market opportunities for the company in high throughput clinical testing, Department of Defense applications, and point-of-care diagnostic products where fast test times are critical.

About Thermal Gradient
Thermal Gradient develops devices and systems for rapid molecular diagnostics based on their proprietary thermal cycling and nucleic acid extraction technologies.  The company is presently developing products for nucleic acid testing research and infectious disease detection.  The company is also pursuing collaboration and technology licensing opportunities.

The company wishes to acknowledge the continuing support from NIH for the development of a field deployable HIV detection and monitoring system.  It is under this program that the recent advances were made.