FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Microfluidic Systems Inc. (MFSI) today announced that it has signed agreements with two scientific technology leaders, Applied Biosystems (NYSE: ABI), an Applera Corporation business, and Hamilton Sundstrand, a United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) business, for the continued development and production of MFSI's Bioagent Autonomous Networked Detector (BAND). These new systems in development are intended to improve the detection of airborne pathogens that could contaminate the air in a city or large region.
The US Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate has been funding BAND development for the past three years through Phases I-III of the BAND program, which is a government program dedicated to monitoring air quality, particularly focused on biosecurity threats, such as anthrax, plague and smallpox.
MFSI is a prime contractor receiving funding to develop an improved, more cost-effective autonomous airborne pathogen detection and identification system. MFSI teamed up with Applied Biosystems and United Technologies to incorporate proven technologies into the Microfluidics-based Bioagent Autonomous Networked Detector (M-BAND) and ensure service and support from these two world-class corporations.
Applied Biosystems, based in Foster City, Calif., is a global leader in the development and commercialization of instrument-based systems, consumables, software and services for the life science market. Under the agreement between MFSI and Applied Biosystems, Applied Biosystems will provide manufacturing of TaqMan(R) assays, which are chemistry reagents that can detect harmful pathogens. Applied Biosystems TaqMan(R) assays have provided over 5.2 million anthrax screening tests used in on-going mail screening applications.
"Environmental surveillance requires reliable and scalable solutions that stay ahead of existing and emerging biosecurity threats," said Leonard Klevan, Ph.D, President for Applied Biosystems' applied markets division. "Applied Biosystems' proven performance in large scale, mission-critical, environmental testing programs reinforces confidence in our ability to contribute to the M-BAND system for improving detection of airborne pathogens."
Hamilton Sundstrand, based in Pomona, Calif., is a highly diversified system engineering, manufacturing and product support company and will provide design for manufacturing, pilot production, high volume manufacturing and product support of the M-BAND system under its agreement with MFSI.
"Hamilton Sundstrand is very pleased to partner with MFSI and Applied Biosystems on this critical homeland security program," said Edward M. Francis, Hamilton Sundstrand's Vice President & General Manager. "It's exciting to team with such world-class organizations on the BAND program that is so important to the safety and security of our citizens," he added.
With MFSI as the developer and manufacturer of the key microfluidics components and continuing prime contractor, a fully integrated and complete team has been established to role out the M-BAND product with state-of-the-art microfluidics and TaqMan(R) assays, superior manufacturing and field support.
"With the continued success of MFSI's prime role in the BAND program and the establishment of a world-class team for production and support of all the required aspects of the system, we believe we will be able to complete development of a cost-effective solution for the growing need for more efficient airborne pathogen detection and identification," said M. Allen Northrup , Ph.D, CEO, Microfluidic Systems. "MFSI looks forward to this significant development and production effort with these key partners."