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Clear Labs taps Oxford Nanopore tech for ‘new level of speed and accuracy’ in pathogen testing

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages/iLexx
©GettyImages/iLexx

Related tags: Pathogen, Food safety, Food quality

Leveraging Oxford Nanopore’s sequencing technology, the Clear Safety platform allows customers to accelerate ‘time-to-insight’ and ‘time-to-decision’ in the pathogen detection process.

Clear Labs’ pathogen detection platform, Clear Safety, is an automated testing system based on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS).

Yesterday (25 March), the US-headquartered group announced a collaboration with UK firm Oxford Nanopore Technologies, which sees the latter’s desktop GridION DNA sequencing technology applied to the Clear Safety platform.

GridION offers real-time analysis, allowing customers to speed up time-to-insight and time-to-decision in the detection process.

The offering brings a new level of speed and accuracy (99.9%) to high-volume pathogen detection testing, said Clear Labs. The technology could also help food makers save on the significant costs associated with recalls – incurred with foodborne contaminants go undetected.

“Clear Labs’ ability to detect a greater range of pathogens at higher rates of specificity and certainty not only means that fewer pathogens slip through, but also that food manufacturers can significantly reduce the costs associated with inventory holding and destroyed product,” ​said the US firm in a statement.

clear labs
Clear Safety ©Clear Labs

Oxford Nanopore Technologies CEO Gordon Sanghera said his firm is “excited to partner with Clear Labs” ​to expand the use of its technology in the food safety sector.

“When they approached us about leveraging GridION in Clear Safety, we saw a unique opportunity to meet a critical business need in the industry – a fast turn-around and the ability to fit into a completely automatic system.”

The news comes just months after Clear Labs announced​ it had secured a $21m funding round, bringing the total amount raised, as of November 2018, to $45m.

At the time, the firm said it planned to invest in commercial operations and new features for Clear Safety. 

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