Luminex scores $11.6M deal for biothreat Dx

Luminex has signed an $11.6 million deal with the Department of Defense, tasked with developing a hand-held diagnostics tool that can detect biothreat agents.

The 42-month contract is with the DoD's Defense Threat Reduction Agency, requiring Luminex to create a prototype device that can identify biomarkers of Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, a result of blood infection common on the battlefield and in biowarfare.

Biothreat microbes are varied and tough to diagnose, according to Luminex, but the company identified some common factors of blood infection that will it allow to create an assay that can detect both biowarfare pathogens and other impurities. "The flexibility and scalability of our multiplexing technology allow for the measurement of RNA, DNA and proteins with the same system, aiding rapid and accurate diagnosis of these severe conditions," said Amy Altman, vice president Luminex Biodefense, in a statement.

And Luminex has the technology to fulfill the agreement, thanks in part to recent M&A. Last month, the Austin-based firm acquired GenturaDx for $50 million, gaining that company's rapid-result assay tech, and, in 2011, Luminex spent $34 million on EraGen Biosciences, absorbing that company's MultiCode-RTx test.

- read Luminex's statement