LexaGene completes development of canine UTI syndromic panel

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LexaGene Holdings (OTCQB:LXXGF; TSX-V:LXG) has completed development of a syndromic panel to detect urinary tract infection (UTI) in small animals. The assay is capable of detecting each of the eight most common pathogens responsible for 95% of all clinical canine UTI cases.

LexaGene's UTI panel is designed to detect causative pathogens with greater sensitivity and specificity than traditional culture-based detection, which is prone to false positive results.

The company’s LX2 Genetic Analyzer is designed to be used in veterinary hospitals and return results in just one hour, allowing veterinarians to make more informed patient care management decisions rather than relying on empiric diagnoses.

The current standard for veterinary syndromic testing is to ship collected samples to a reference laboratory where test results can take two-to-five days. During this time, veterinarians prescribe an antibiotic to prevent complications despite reports that only 17% of the samples tested for UTI are positive for a bacterial infection.

LexaGene’s genetic analyzer is designed to screen samples for as many as 28 pathogens at once, allowing for the detection of the vast majority of those responsible for causing syndromic illnesses as well as for some common antibiotic resistance factors.

There are some 90 million dogs in the U.S., with an estimated 5.4 million tests performed annually for urinary tract infections. These infections can be caused by at least 69 different pathogens, but 95% of these infections are caused by just eight pathogens. In 2017, the global dog diagnostic market was valued at more than $722.7-million, with the global companion animal diagnostics market expected to exceed $3.2-billion by 2024.

In a statement, Dr. Nathan Walsh, LexaGene’s director of applications and bioinformatics, said developing an assay to detect a pathogen is easy. However, developing an assay that is also very sensitive and specific takes a lot of expertise and time.

“My team has been diligently working for months to verify the quality of all of our bacterial assays that make up the syndromic UTI panel and we are very pleased with the results,” he said. “Having such a high-quality syndromic assay panel will bring out the best in LexaGene’s microfluidic genetic analyzer.”

Michelle Carr