Pathogens… Just the word causes worry amongst
any one who knows what they are. And in quick, they’re some thing we all want to
stay clear of. We not too long ago got the likelihood to speak with Milan Patel, Co-founder and CEO
of PathogenDx, a Scottsdale, AZ primarily based firm which has created a disruptive
technologies: DNA-primarily based testing for cannabis as nicely as other industries.
Verify out the interview beneath to find out extra
about this technologies and what it suggests for cannabis growers and shoppers.
CM: What is
PathogenDx – in 1 sentence, and then in depth? What is the technologies in
play right here?
Patel: In 1 sentence, PathogenDx is an Arizona biotechnology
firm that has created a disruptive DNA-primarily based technologies to test for
numerous pathogens (bacterial and fungal organisms that result in contamination) in
a fraction of the time, price and labor to assure cannabis, hemp, meals, ag, and
water is protected for consumption.
The globe is filled with
damaging pathogens that increasingly threaten the security of our cannabis, hemp,
meals and water provide. And but, testing labs nonetheless rely on the Petri dishes scientists
invented more than a century ago. At PathogenDx, microbial testing has now been
brought into the modern day age. The company’s patent-winning scientists have
invented a game-altering DNA-primarily based microarray technologies (see image beneath) that
accelerates the testing identification and quantification of microbes (from
E-coli to powdery mildew)—delivering correct outcomes in just six hours devoid of
the have to have for enrichment or DNA purification. The firm entered the Cannabis
industry to demonstrate the energy of the Ultra-speedy DNA microarray to prove the
capability of delivering the quickest microbial test in the cannabis sector
although meeting the security testing regulations.
CM: The big
tool in testing has often been the Petri dish – why modify that now? How does DNA
come into play?
Patel: The Petri dish has been about for 140 years. Nonetheless, testing outcomes
take rather extended due to the fact with a Petri dish, you have to take a sample, enrich
any bacterial or fungal organisms in that sample, streak it on an agar culture
and wait for the cells of the bacterial or fungal pathogens to develop ahead of you
get a outcome. This can take anyplace from three days up to 7 days. When you have a
lot of samples coming into a lab, it can be quite unwieldy.
Why modify now? – The provide chain of
cannabis, hemp, meals, agriculture and water is extra effective now, and with the
item moving by way of the provide chain a great deal quicker to the finish client, the
threat is greater due to the fact a possible contaminated meals is probably to get consumed
ahead of outcomes are obtained from petri dish testing. This is evident by the
continued increases in meals borne outbreaks in the final two-three decades, and current
examples are the meals borne outbreaks at Chipotle and the Romaine lettuce
incident. Generally a 19th century resolution can’t meet the requires
and demands of these markets, and a 21st century resolution is necessary
whereby outcomes are delivered quicker ahead of contaminated finish item gets
How does DNA come into play? – DNA comes
into play due to the fact the methodology by which the procedure operates is unique in
that it is a targeted method: you do not have to wait for the actual pathogen
cells to develop, you are capable to recognize that the item is contaminated at the
molecular level, and you can get a outcome in hours.
Patel: The most significant threats facing farmers and their cannabis/ hemp crops is
continual contamination inside grows with a higher level of presence of each
bacterial and fungal microbes in the finish sample. In addition, we are beginning
to see improved presence of viruses – particularly for hemp farmers – which is
wreaking havoc as petri dish testing can’t test for viruses. This outcomes in
catastrophic losses each from an financial standpoint, as nicely as yield
point of view.
CM: Even even though
PathogenDx was created for hemp and cannabis, you say it can be utilised to
test other agricultural crops, water, even meat and dairy locations. Will the exact same
test and process be utilised for unique issues what else does PathogenDx have to have
to do to enter the Meals and Dairy sphere?
Patel: We have produced the technologies universally applicable to numerous markets
as nicely as ubiquitous, in that at the base level, it is 1 procedure. Whether or not
you are testing cannabis, romaine, milk, water or something else, the procedure is
properly the exact same. The content material of the kits are mainly the exact same, but
from time to time enhanced with unique bacterial or fungal organisms that are
certain to that sector.
at the moment submitting the use of the technologies as a certified technique to the
AOAC for meals and environmental testing at the federal level. We count on to have
certification by mid-2020, and when that takes place, PathogenDx will have access
to a $30B industry. In addition, we are building a test that can test up to 20
pathogens that are at the moment causing high quality difficulties in the milk and dairy
sector. We program to introduce a item in 2020 for this industry.
CM: What’s subsequent
for PathogenDx in 2020? Exactly where else do you see application of this technologies?
Patel: We are expanding the applications of the technologies into the Meals,
Environmental, Dairy markets, as nicely as introducing a plant pathogen kit that
will broaden the testing capability in cannabis, hemp and Agriculture. The technologies has possible into the a great deal bigger clinical
diagnostics with a multitude of clinical applications. At the present time, the
firm is functioning with various collaborators to evaluate crucial industry