Biomagnetics Diagnostics, a developer of technology for diagnostic systems for HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis and malaria detection, has signed an agreement with Los Alamos National Security (LANS), where Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) scientific and engineering staffs will attempt to identify new potential human tuberculosis (TB) biomarkers.

LANL also expects to develop a validated assay to detect human tuberculosis using a currently known biomarker to be used in combination with the waveguide-based optical biosensor platform for the detection of disease causing pathogens, developed at LANL and recently licensed to Biomagnetics Diagnostics late 2009.

The collaborative research efforts are designed to speed to market a device for human tuberculosis diagnosis. The device is based on LANL developed pathogen detection methodologies that can detect pathogens that inflict humans across the globe.

Current tuberculosis detection technologies rely mainly on using DNA signatures and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or anti-body based enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent (ELISA) assays, both of which require many hours to produce results and ELISA does so with relatively low confidence because of the low specificity of the assays.

The integrated optical biosensor technology that will result from the collaborative research effort may prove to reduce the time and expense, and increase the sensitivity for human tuberculosis detection.

Clayton Hardman, CEO of Biomagnetics, said: “We cannot think of a stronger partner to help us develop this revolutionary technology for tuberculosis diagnosis and we are clearly pleased to be working with all of the top-flight people at Los Alamos National Security and LANL.

“The traditional definitive diagnosis of tuberculosis is made by culturing Mycrobacterium tuberculosis organisms from a specimen taken from the patient, an expensive and time-consuming approach to diagnosis. Newer techniques such as the blood tests QuantiFERON-TB Gold In Tube and T-SPOT TB, significantly speed diagnosis but are still quite expensive and require highly trained personnel and specialized facilities.”