Genomic analysis group Epoch Biosciences has entered into a partnership with BioControl Systems. Under the license and supply agreement, BioControl, a provider of microbiology test kits for food safety, receives a license to specific probe sequences from Epoch for use the field of food safety testing.
In return, Epoch will receive technology access fees, product sales from shipments of MGB Eclipse probes and primers to BioControl, and royalties on BioControl's sales of testing systems to end-users. The use of MGB Eclipse probes and primers for food testing expands the utility of the MGB Eclipse Probe System outside of its current use for research.
"Our MGB Eclipse Probe System has become the gold standard in the research community, and our company is pursing objectives to introduce our technology into other markets, including diagnostics and bioterrorism," said Epoch chief executive William Gerber. "This adoption of our technology by a leading supplier of food safety tests is another validation of the broad utility of MGB Eclipse. Adding another growing market to our portfolio of revenue sources contributes to the stability and the potential of our company."
Philip Feldsine, president and chief executive officer of BioControl Systems, said: "We have a high standard of food safety in this country due in large part to the application of scientific measurement and control methods to food processing and handling. BioControl has a proven track record of innovation in the field of food safety testing. This is quite complementary to Epoch¹s technological innovations."
Both parties hope that the agreement marks a major step forward in the science of food safety. Over 76 million people in the US alone experience food-borne illness each year.
But things are getting better. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there was a 16 per cent decline in food-related illnesses during the period 1996-2002. The CDC has attributed this achievement in part to the implementation of the Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system for meat and poultry production facilities.