Zymo Research will make a strategic investment to acquire an interest in Singapore-based biomedical technology company Star Array for the development of an automated nucleic acid extraction/superfast polymerase chain reaction (PCR) platform.

With this investment, Zymo Research’s nucleic acid purification and assay technologies will be combined with the engineering and automation expertise of Star Array.

This combination will enable an expansion into For Research Use Only (FRUO) as well as diagnostic markets, such as Point-of-Care testing (POCT).

Star Array produces and markets different genetic analysers, including XDive, a qPCR platform, with associated kits and software.

The company developed a SARS-CoV-2 detection test, leveraging its XDive system, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) programme, Star Array works through the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

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Zymo Research business development vice-president Marc Van Eden said: “Star Array’s powerful PCR instrumentation places them at the forefront of PCR technology with their XDive PCR system that can complete a typical 40-cycle multiplex qPCR run in five to seven minutes.

“Through our investment in Star Array, we will develop products targeting POCT in the global marketplace.”

Zymo Research and Star Array will collaborate and develop ready-made cassettes that will have the necessary reagents for the latter’s Covid-19 test kit and future POCT.

Star Array vice-president Dr Yanhui Liu said: “Zymo Research and Star Array have both built businesses at the intersection of science and technology, and we share a vision of ultrafast PCR technology that will enable POC PCR tests to be analysed in just minutes in doctor’s offices, laboratories and hospitals.”