PathoGenetix Hires Technology Development VP for Resolution Microbial Genotyping System

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PathoGenetix has hired John A. Luckey, Ph.D., M.B.A., as Vice President of Engineering, to lead product development and system integration for the RESOLUTION™ Microbial Genotyping System. The RESOLUTION System, which provides bacterial serotype and strain type information from complex mixtures in five hours, is currently in alpha testing, with beta testing of systems expected to commence in Q4 2013 and commercial units in 2014.

Resolution Microbial Genotyping System, bacterial strain typing, food safety testing, foodborne illness outbreak

John Luckey

His extensive background and experience with commercializing bioanalytical instrumentation systems are a great match for our task of bringing the RESOLUTION System to market—first in food safety, and then to strategic follow-on opportunities as well.

PathoGenetix, Inc., a commercial-stage developer of an automated system for rapid bacterial strain typing, announced today that John A. Luckey, Ph.D., M.B.A., has joined the company as Vice President of Engineering. Dr. Luckey will lead technology development and integration for the company’s RESOLUTION™ Microbial Genotyping System. The fully automated RESOLUTION System, which includes the benchtop instrument, pathogen-specific assay kits, database and software, will be commercially available in 2014 for use in food safety testing and foodborne illness outbreak investigations.

Dr. Luckey has more than 20 years of experience in biotechnology systems research and development with both large and small diagnostic companies. Prior to joining PathoGenetix, he was Technical Projects Director with Roche NimbleGen, working with the Applied Science and Molecular Diagnostics divisions, and Director of Platform Development, directing research and development for the company’s core DNA microarray synthesis technology. Prior to Roche, Dr. Luckey managed software development and instrumentation design engineering activities at OpGen Technologies, and product development, engineering and molecular biology projects at MJ Research. In 1994, he founded GeneSys Technologies to market the BaseStation DNA Fragment Analyzer, an ultrathin gel electrophoresis system that he had designed, developed and patented. Dr. Luckey holds a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry and an M.B.A. in Executive Management from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

“We are fortunate to bring John Luckey to PathoGenetix at this exciting time. His extensive background and experience with commercializing bioanalytical instrumentation systems are a great match for our task of bringing the RESOLUTION System to market—first in food safety, and then to strategic follow-on opportunities as well,” said Ann Merrifield, President and CEO of PathoGenetix.

The RESOLUTION System is based on PathoGenetix’s proprietary Genome Sequence Scanning™ (GSS™) technology, initially developed to detect bio-threat pathogens in environmental samples under a five-year, $50-million contract through the Department of Homeland Security. The breakthrough genotyping technology isolates and analyzes DNA direct from complex mixtures such as enriched food samples—without the need for a pure culture isolate—and provides molecular serotype and strain type information for target bacteria in just five hours. The strain type information provided by GSS is comparable in resolution to pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), the current standard for pathogen identification.

“I am excited to join such a talented and dynamic team committed to serving the growing needs of the food safety industry. I look forward to leading PathoGenetix’s efforts to bring its breakthrough GSS technology to this market and to others in the future,” said Dr. Luckey.

Performance testing and submission to AOAC of the RESOLUTION instrument, assays kits and protocols is planned for 2014. PathoGenetix is a sustaining member of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and will be displaying the RESOLUTION System at the 2013 IAFP Annual Meeting, July 28-31 in Charlotte, NC.

About PathoGenetix, Inc.

PathoGenetix, Inc. is a commercial-stage developer of an automated system for rapid bacterial identification from complex samples. PathoGenetix is a venture-backed company that has received more than $50 million in technology development funding from the Department of Homeland Security. The core GSS technology isolates and analyzes DNA directly from an enriched biological sample—without the need for a cultured isolate—and provides results in just five hours, days faster than current methods. GSS has broad applicability in food safety, industrial microbiology, and clinical diagnostics and research. The first commercial GSS system will be available in 2014 for use in food safety testing and foodborne illness outbreak investigations. Learn more at http://www.pathogenetix.com.

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