With the support of grants from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency and Genome Canada, Chronix is working in partnership with the University of Calgary to develop a commercial BSE assay that would allow for widespread screening of cattle.

Chronix intends to begin offering BSE testing services to the cattle industry once the commercial test is finalised and validated.

Chronix CEO Howard Urnovitz said that their blood test for BSE is accurate, simple and cost-effective all critical components for making the screening of cattle logistically and economically feasible and the Chronix technology has been shown to detect BSE in cattle before symptoms appear, a major advantage over the current procedure that can only confirm BSE post-mortem.

“The capability to rule out BSE in cattle before slaughter could greatly diminish the risk of introducing BSE into the food supply, helping to eliminate BSE as a barrier to international trade and reducing consumer concerns,” Urnovitz said.