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29th July 2019  Product update: Paul Carton

First Light Showcases Breakthrough Diagnostic Tech

An in-vitro high-throughput diagnostics start-up company who are in the process of seeking FDA clearance for a fully automated rapid 4-hour diagnostic instrument for infections have released multimedia content of their patented technology via their website

If you didn’t happen to make it to this year’s American Society for Microbiology’s ASM Microbe 2019 Event in San Francisco California, then you didn’t get the chance to visit booth 4811M, First Light Diagnostics, the developers of a new fully automated high-throughput infection diagnostic instrument that can deliver precise antibiotic prescription information in just 4 hours from the patient’s sample. However don’t fret, because First Light have tried to put as much detail in video and word format as possible on their homepage to equal their demonstrations at the event.

First Light diagnostics claims its Multipath™ technology can deliver pathogen identification in only 30 minutes and via an interrogation of images of cell density after antibiotic susceptibility tests (AST) the system can provide accurate information to clinicians as to the correct antibiotic to prescribe. 

The company’s chief scientific officer and founder Don Straus filed the patent ‘rapid and sensitive detection of molecules’ back in 2002 and received his patent only last year for Multipath™. The underlying technology, a dye-cushioned liquid layer, which Firstlight diagnostics have labelled as their ‘special sauce’ can provide walk-in or ‘drive thru’ results 2 days earlier than current methods. Multipath uses cartridges that takes urine, stool, blood and respiratory samples and has the capacity to do 25 tests an hour. 

Extensive material covering the power of Multipath™ is provided on their homepage with a mini-documentary ‘Revenge of the Bacteria: why we’re losing the war’ compiled by the NY Times on the growing antibiotic resistant problem.  This nine-minute documentary explores how the global crisis of ‘nightmare bacteria’ has arisen, as one US news station reports. With data released by the centre of disease control (CDC) that 30% of antibiotics prescribed aren’t needed equalling 47 million in excess being prescribed leads NY times Pulitzer-prize science writer Matt Richtel to define the times as "Darwinian forces multiplied by the pace and scale of global capitalism".

Also featured on is a list of publications appearing in science journals over the last few years proving the efficiency and accuracy of Multipath™. One particular study appearing in, written by Firstlight demonstrates how Multipath™ is able to identify all toxinotypes and ribotypes of Clostridium difficile, which causes more health-care  infections than any other microbial pathogen, including the one most commonly occurring in the US and EU.

This is First Light diagnostics first commercial prototype and CSO Don Strauss is expecting FDA clearance by the end of 2019. “First Light is solving two huge problems in health care, the epidemic of deadly hospital infections and the rise in superbugs that are resistant to most antibiotics” says Strauss. Tests are that are currently under the development with MultiPath™ technology include rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing, ultra-sensitive detection of toxins and disease biomarkers and rapid, sensitive high-throughput tests for superbugs.

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Date Published: 29th July 2019

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Note: This content has been edited by a rapidmicrobiology staff writer for style and content.

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