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Fluidigm, OpGen enter into strategic agreement to develop multi-drug resistance testing kits and equipment

Fluidigm and OpGen announced an expanded relationship and new agreement that includes collaborating on the development of test kits and custom analytic instruments for identification, screening, and surveillance testing of multi-drug resistance organism (MDRO) genes of pathogens, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses.

The agreement establishes a framework for Fluidigm and OpGen to develop MDRO tests utilizing Fluidigm components and instruments, initially based on Fluidigm’s Juno instrument for automating SNP genotyping assays and Fluidigm’s Biomark system for endpoint and real-time PCR detection.

Fluidigm and OpGen plan to cooperate on quality, regulatory, and compliance as needed. The initial term of the agreement is for five years with the potential to extend for an additional five-year term.

OpGen President Kevin Krenitsky, MD, said, "We are excited to expand our strategic collaboration with Fluidigm. We anticipate working together to develop improved solutions and workflows for testing multi-drug resistant organisms and other pathogens. Our Acuitas MDRO Gene Test and Resistome Test both utilize Fluidigm microfluidic technologies. With this expanded relationship, OpGen anticipates developing customized solutions for our CLIA lab customers, strategic partners and testing laboratories globally."

"The rise of multi-drug resistant organisms is a major health issue globally. In addition to OpGen’s pioneering work in this field, our two companies intend to work together to address these needs and to seek government funding for development of new products based on Fluidigm’s microfluidic technologies and OpGen’s molecular testing services and products, including molecular information analytics," said Steve McPhail, Fluidigm General Manager, Production Genomics.

Multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) are mainly common bacteria that have developed resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics.

They are a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections and are associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality. Each year, more than two million Americans acquire infections that are resistant to antibiotics.