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LITMUS and FDA Collaboration Leads to Global Food Safety Breakthrough

04-04-2007 05:45 PM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: LITMUS LLC

/ PR Agency: Abchurch
LITMUS, LLC, a leading global technology innovations company, announces today a breakthrough which will dramatically improve current testing methods to detect food borne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, and E.coli. This advancement in bacterial pathogen-testing technology provides growers, producers and processors quicker and more accurate results, thereby reducing the risk of contaminated foods reaching consumers. The new procedures are the result of a two-year collaboration between LITMUS and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s National Center for Toxicological Research.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that unsafe foods cause as many as 76 million illnesses in the U.S. annually. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that the national costs associated with food borne illness could be as much as US$37 billion annually.

CEO and founder of LITMUS, Mark Diggs, said: “One of the key issues in protecting the public from bacterial outbreaks is being able to quickly and accurately detect bacterial pathogens before they hit the grocery shelves. This is no simple matter and the available testing methods simply take too long.”

LITMUS Scientist, Dr. Dwight Miller said: “Our progress over the last two years has been remarkable. These new methods are unlike any currently available and they yield more accurate results in just minutes versus days.”

Currently, most food products are tested by “culturing” samples to see if any bacterial pathogens are present. The results must then be assessed by a microbiologist or expert lab technician. The entire process typically takes two to three days which is a substantial delay for perishable products like meats and fresh produce waiting to enter the supply chain.

The new method eliminates the lengthy process of growing cultures and waiting on lab analysis. The LITMUS RAPID-B methods bypass the culturing and expert identification phase by directly detecting and identifying individual bacteria in one step and provide results in less than 15 minutes.

This new disruptive breakthrough is the result of an alliance formed under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) in April 2005 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s National Center for Toxicological Research. The new technology will be marketed through LITMUS RAPID-B, LLC, a subsidiary of LITMUS, LLC.

LITMUS, LLC is a global technology innovator which identifies disruptive technologies and services that can provide unique commercial solutions to significant unmet market needs. The Company’s alternative approach to traditional funding and business development models enables it to then create revolutionary technology companies before scaling each one towards a liquidity event.

The LITMUS management team has rigorously applied its business methodology to create the following portfolio of divisions and subsidiaries: LITMUS nanoTechnology, LITMUS FQI, LITMUS RAPID-B and LITMUS Molecular Design. LITMUS has also created two subsidiaries that complement the Company’s technology portfolio and enhance the execution of LITMUS’ business methodology in LITMUS Defense and LITMUS Consulting.

Founded in 2002, LITMUS, LLC is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas USA, and has offices across America and in London, England. For more information, visit www.litmusgti.com.

LITMUS LLC
9821 Katy Freeway
Suite 500
Houston
Texas 77024
USA

Mark Diggs, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +1 713 464 7770
mdiggs@litmusgti.com

For media enquiries:
Abchurch
Gareth Mead
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7398 7700
gareth.mead@abchurch-group.com

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