Q Chip Ltd, UK, which develops microencapsulation solutions, has introduced ReaX™ MDx enhanced PCR beads for molecular diagnostics in a user-friendly format.

The beads offer an alternative to lyophilisation and help eliminate the need for temperature-controlled logistics, which suits them for oncology and infectious-disease assays, and point-of-care formats.

“The beads meet other requirements in the fast-growing molecular diagnostics market sector, such as assay simplification combined with reproducible results, and we are currently looking for licensing partners for this exciting technology,” said Mark Barry, the company’s CEO.

Beads in the proprietary MicroPlant™ microfluidic device are composed of organic and hydrogel polymers, which are uniform (<2% variability) and encapsulate all of the reagents needed to perform the diagnostic assay. Assays require minimal user input, time, and skills, and provide accurate and reproducible results.

The production technology features low wastage, uniform dosing and morphology, and low process costs.

Q Chip develops precision, microsphere-based packaging products for the pharmaceutical, medical-device, and diagnostic markets. Its primary investors are the Sustainable Technology Partnership, E-Synergy’s early growth fund, The Forum of the Future, Fusion Cardiff Limited, Finance Wales, and Jon Moulton.

In 2007, the molecular diagnostics market was worth $2.8 billion worldwide and growing at 15-20%, according to Insight Pharma Reports.