Improving standards of care by making molecular diagnostics more available
The global molecular diagnostics market is projected to grow to $11.5 billion by 2023.* This growth is being driven primarily by the high prevalence of infectious diseases and various types of cancer. Molecular diagnostics provide effective and fast results, playing an important role in malady assessment. Increased incidence rates of cardiovascular, neurological, and genetic disorders are expected to further fuel the need for advancements in molecular diagnostic technologies.
In the past, molecular diagnostic (MDx) assays were complicated and required a large amount of attention from highly skilled labor along with a room full of different instruments. These high-touch, high-space requirements have impeded the use of MDx assays for a broad spectrum of applications in healthcare and other markets. Rheonix has created a completely automated platform that removes the complexity, allowing MDx to be rolled out to a much wider arena in a more economic manner than previously possible.
Rheonix, Inc. was founded in 2008 by Greg Galvin, Ph.D to address barriers preventing the adoption of high-quality, sensitive molecular testing across a variety of markets. Greg’s vision was to apply his experience and knowledge in engineering and material science to the invention of a testing device that would be highly functional, but low cost, and packaged in a simple and user-friendly format. This
was the genesis of the Rheonix CARD cartridge and Encompass workstation.
Today, a team of passionate professionals from the fields of engineering, biology, software and manufacturing are working to improve standards of care by making molecular diagnostics available to more people, in more places, more often.
The Encompass MDx and Encompass Optimum platforms are automated systems that streamline workflow for building and implementing molecular assays. Users are allowed the flexibility to configure their own testing and control all aspects of assay performance. The Encompass platforms allow users to create their own sample-to-answer, fully automated, complex molecular assays in an easy-to-use format using the Rheonix CARD cartridge. The cartridge automatically manipulates a network of microfluidic pumps to move fluids through the channels of the CARD and run several biological samples through a fully integrated molecular analysis with no user intervention. Encompass workstations can take almost any raw sample and automatically lyse, extract, and purify DNA and RNA from up to 24 samples at one time. Total sample preparation and load in requires less than five minutes.
The team at University at Buffalo’s Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS) was instrumental in helping Rheonix identify user requirements, assess market needs and fine-tune product development. CBLS provided critical data; the enhancement, simplification and expediting of library preparation methods; access to UB’s leading-edge sequencing center and high-speed computers; invaluable feedback and market analyses. They also provided guidance on engaging with the FDA for much-needed regulatory approvals along with funding through the UB CAT program.
The CBLS promotes life sciences innovation and technology-based economic development driving scientific discovery, facilitating collaboration among academia, industry and the public sector to create jobs that directly impact the region’s and state’s economies.
The UB CAT program provides eligible companies with project matching grants to fund industry-university collaborations in big data and health sciences arenas. Through these grants, NYS health sciences companies, like Rheonix, can utilize big data, leverage funding, access expertise and equipment and receive reduced rates on services and supplies through UB.
Rheonix also plans to tap the CBLS lab for future BETA testing and infuse its staffing ranks with UB’s talented post-doctoral students.
Rheonix is addressing many of the barriers that currently prevent the everyday use of molecular analytical tools through its innovative product development. With both the Rheonix CARD cartridge and Encompass workstation family of products, Rheonix is well positioned to penetrate and succeed in key molecular testing markets, from diagnostics labs to applied markets testing for food and beverage applications and next-generation sequencing sample preparation.