Novel handheld device detects anthrax with outstanding accuracy and reliability

June 25, 2009

Baltimore, MD, and Christchurch, NZ - June 25, 2009 - Veritide Ltd., a developer of innovative biological identification and detection solutions, today reported that new independent data to be presented at the Biodetection Technologies 2009 conference confirm the exceptional accuracy of its Ceeker™ (pronounced "seeker") portable bacterial detection device in discriminating between anthrax spores and similar-looking hoax substances. The data show that in over two weeks of testing at the Midwest Research Institute in Florida, the company's Ceeker scanner accurately identified 100% of the anthrax samples used and was correct in 95% of tests involving hoax substances. These test results are consistent with similar results produced last year by a New Zealand forensic testing agency, Environmental Science and Research (ESR).

"We knew that our innovative Ceeker is capable of producing outstanding results in distinguishing between anthrax and look-alike hoax substances, and now we have definitive data confirming its performance," said Andrew Rudge, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Veritide. "Even better, these extraordinary results were generated by a small portable handheld system that requires no special skills or training to operate and that can produce a result within minutes, enabling first responders to rapidly determine whether the situation is a nuisance or a major threat to public health."

The Ceeker employs optical detection technology developed at New Zealand's University of Canterbury. It uses ultraviolet light and special algorithms to detect bacterial spores and provides test results within minutes, without the need for wet chemistry or analytic processes that can be difficult to handle in the field. The Ceeker is capable of producing test results from very small amounts of sample and does not consume or destroy the sample being tested, allowing it to be re-analyzed later for forensic applications.

In contrast, existing detection approaches require longer and more complex processing to distinguish anthrax from other substances (between 30 minutes and three days), their accuracy is inferior to the Ceeker and the sample is typically destroyed during testing.

The new data will be presented on June 26, 2009 at Biodetection Technologies 2009 by Professor Lou Reinisch, an inventor of the Ceeker technology and Professor of Physics and Department Head at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Prof. Reinisch noted, "It is gratifying to present these outstanding results from a system that has so much potential to reduce the large costs and losses in productivity and peace of mind caused by our current inability to easily distinguish between anthrax spores and harmless white powder. These new data definitively confirm the validity of the detection concepts underlying the Ceeker and should help fuel its wider use among such first responders as fire and police departments, HazMat teams, postal services, port and airport security, and defense and military authorities."

John Delaney is Captain, Arlington County, Virginia Fire Department and Manager, National Medical Response Team-National Capital Region, home to the Pentagon and many other major U.S. government and corporate facilities. Capt. Delaney commented, "With responsibility for helping to ensure the safety of the hundreds of thousands of people who live and work in the Capital Region, my department welcomes the availability of technologically advanced solutions that enhance our ability to carry out our mission. The Veritide Ceeker is an excellent example--it is extremely versatile, easy-to-use and fast--results are ready in minutes. Most importantly, the new test data being presented this week confirm that the Ceeker is very reliable, enabling front-line decision makers to rapidly and confidently validate initial threat assessments that can ultimately have a far-reaching impact on public safety and well-being. The National Capital Region generally receives on average one alert a day or more regarding the potential presence of anthrax, so this device can only enhance our first responder capabilities and accuracy."

The Ceeker has also been previously validated by forensic laboratory ESR, which conducted multiple rounds of testing using anthrax simulants and hoax substances. The successful U.S. test results have triggered significant sales from U.S. customers who had pre-ordered the Ceeker but were waiting for positive direct anthrax testing results before proceeding.

Dr. Rudge added, "Achieving these results represents a significant milestone and positions Veritide as the first company to offer proven technology capable of accurately and reliably detecting lethal anthrax spores, and to do so without destroying the sample. These new testing results are expected to unlock large potential markets for Veritide in North America and around the globe. We currently are in the process of identifying potential partners and additional investors to ensure this important technology is available worldwide."
-end-
To learn more about the Veritide Ceeker, go to www.veritide.com.

The 14th International Biodetection Technologies conference is being held June 25-26, 2009 at the Marriot Baltimore Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Reinisch's presentation is scheduled at 11:00 am EDT on June 26, 2009. For more information visit www.knowledgefoundation.com.

About Veritide

New Zealand-based Veritide Ltd. is committed to developing innovative biological identification and detection solutions. Our novel technologies are based on research conducted at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand and we partner with end-users to ensure the rapid development and commercialization of reliable, high performance products. Veritide's first product, the Ceeker™, is an innovative handheld portable system for first responders that independent testing confirms is capable of detecting anthrax spores rapidly, simply and with great accuracy. The Ceeker is currently being launched in North America and around the world. Veritide is backed by venture capital firms Endeavour i-cap and Ngāi Tahu Capital. For more information, visit www.veritide.com.

BioCom Partners

Related Data Articles from Brightsurf:

Keep the data coming
A continuous data supply ensures data-intensive simulations can run at maximum speed.

Astronomers are bulging with data
For the first time, over 250 million stars in our galaxy's bulge have been surveyed in near-ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared light, opening the door for astronomers to reexamine key questions about the Milky Way's formation and history.

Novel method for measuring spatial dependencies turns less data into more data
Researcher makes 'little data' act big through, the application of mathematical techniques normally used for time-series, to spatial processes.

Ups and downs in COVID-19 data may be caused by data reporting practices
As data accumulates on COVID-19 cases and deaths, researchers have observed patterns of peaks and valleys that repeat on a near-weekly basis.

Data centers use less energy than you think
Using the most detailed model to date of global data center energy use, researchers found that massive efficiency gains by data centers have kept energy use roughly flat over the past decade.

Storing data in music
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for embedding data in music and transmitting it to a smartphone.

Life data economics: calling for new models to assess the value of human data
After the collapse of the blockchain bubble a number of research organisations are developing platforms to enable individual ownership of life data and establish the data valuation and pricing models.

Geoscience data group urges all scientific disciplines to make data open and accessible
Institutions, science funders, data repositories, publishers, researchers and scientific societies from all scientific disciplines must work together to ensure all scientific data are easy to find, access and use, according to a new commentary in Nature by members of the Enabling FAIR Data Steering Committee.

Democratizing data science
MIT researchers are hoping to advance the democratization of data science with a new tool for nonstatisticians that automatically generates models for analyzing raw data.

Getting the most out of atmospheric data analysis
An international team including researchers from Kanazawa University used a new approach to analyze an atmospheric data set spanning 18 years for the investigation of new-particle formation.

Read More: Data News and Data Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.