BEVERLY, Mass., Jan. 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LexaGene Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: LXXGF; TSX-V: LXG) (the “Company”), a biotechnology company that develops genetic analyzers for pathogen detection and other molecular markers, announced today that the Company has formed a scientific advisory board (SAB) to assist the Company in product positioning and its go-to-market strategy. The SAB is comprised of key opinion leaders in the Company’s targeted markets, namely food safety, veterinary diagnostics, and open-access markets such as biodefense. The initial SAB members include Dr. Kimothy Smith DVM PhD and Mr. Shawn Stevens JD. Other SAB members will be added over the coming months to complete a five-member advisory board.
Dr. Jack Regan, LexaGene’s founder and CEO states, “I’m excited to start the process of bringing together key opinion leaders to serve on our scientific advisory board. In 2018, there were two major E. coli outbreaks associated with Romaine lettuce, not to mention 20 other multistate foodborne illness outbreaks. Food producers, manufacturers, and distributors want to provide safe foods, but often they are hamstrung by antiquated technologies that allow contaminated food items to be inadvertently shipped to customers. Mr. Stevens has spent his career advising these food providers in food safety best practices and defending them against claims. And Dr. Smith’s history of working for the government on biodefense and veterinary applications will be of tremendous value to LexaGene as we work to best serve these markets. I look forward to their counsel in helping LexaGene enter these markets that are in dire need of innovation.”
LexaGene’s technology is well suited for food safety, as the technology screens for up to 56 pathogens at once, returning a result in just one hour. This time saving will be a great benefit to industries required to abide by the USDA ‘Test and Hold’ policy. In addition, the high cost to provide testing using other genetic-based technologies has prohibited widespread adoption, whereas LexaGene’s projected low-cost testing is expected to lead to extensive adoption throughout the food industry.
Mr. Stevens is a nationally recognized food industry attorney and the founder of Food Industry Counsel LLC, the only law firm in North America that exclusively represents food industry clients. Mr. Stevens works with some of the world’s largest growers, food processors, national restaurant chains, food distributors, and grocery chains, helping them protect their brand by reducing food safety risk, complying with FDA and USDA food safety regulations, managing recalls, and defending high-profile foodborne illness claims. Mr. Stevens regularly speaks to international audiences on a wide variety of food safety topics, authors dedicated columns in major food safety publications such as Food Safety and Quality Magazine and Meatingplace, and has been quoted in national media publications such as TIME Magazine, the New York Post, and Corporate Counsel Magazine.
Dr. Smith served as the first Chief Veterinarian for the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Chief Scientist for the Office of Health Affairs, where he advised the Secretary of Homeland Security on strategies and emergency response plans for food and agricultural security. He went on to serve as the Acting Director of the National Bio-Surveillance Integration Center. Prior to working for DHS, Dr. Smith was the Deputy Division Leader for Operations in the Counter-Terrorism and Incident Response Division of the Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and International Security Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). During his tenure at LLNL, he also served as the Deputy Associate Program Leader for the Chemical and Biological National Security Program, where he led field deployments of the government’s biological agent monitoring system (BioWatch). He was also the Chief Science Officer for ExcitePCR and a Professor of Microbiology and Epidemiology for the University of Nevada School of Community Health Sciences. Dr. Smith was a practicing veterinarian for 10 years and also earned his PhD in molecular epidemiology.
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About LexaGene Holdings Inc.
LexaGene is a biotechnology company developing the very first fully automated pathogen detection platform that is open-access. The open-access feature will empower end-users to target any pathogen of interest, as they can load their own real-time PCR assays onto the instrument for customized pathogen detection. End-users simply need to collect a sample, load it onto the instrument with a sample preparation cartridge, and press ‘go’. The instrument is expected to offer excellent sensitivity, specificity, and breadth of pathogen detection. The instrument will be able to process multiple samples at a time, in an on-demand fashion, returning results in about 1 hour. The company expects to sell its technology in the veterinary diagnostics market, food safety market, and more.
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