New molecular test to impact influenza pandemic preparedness

A US-based analytical technology and life science company, InDevR Inc., recently announced plans to launch a Research Use Only (RUO) version of their FluChip-8G technology to aid in pandemic preparedness.  The technology is developed to overcome Spanish flu infection. The new molecular test addresses an unmet need for more detailed information about flu viruses found in human specimens without the data management complexities associated with current sequencing approaches. FluChip-8G offers viral subtype-specific insight with the ease of use of an RT-PCR assay and unmatched simplicity in results interpretation.

Spanish flu, a virus that ravaged the human population in 1918, is again causing harm to the human population. The FluChip-8G leverages advancements in artificial intelligence to distill complex data into a simple answer to identify flu viruses.  The technology is based on a microarray that quickly probes a large portion of influenza’s viral genome. Human experts who have the required skill to curate and interpret such a massive amount of data from each sample are hard to come by, especially in remote locations where new flu viruses with pandemic potential are likely to originate.

Similar to the way social media sites are able to identify individual faces in a photograph, the FluChip-8G system uses a pattern-recognition algorithm to rapidly identify flu viruses. This allows those tracking flu viruses in a variety of settings including low- and middle-income countries to rapidly determine if a flu virus with pandemic potential is causing infections or outbreaks.

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