Videos | Feb 21, 2017

The BioFire FilmArray Portable Pathogen Test Kit

Biosurveillance in the field can be difficult, if not impossible, in some cases. Without a fully-stocked laboratory for testing, fragile chemicals may not be stored properly and the risk of equipment damage is imminent. Yet, the detection of pathogens like anthrax and Ebola is required to contain outbreaks and provide much-needed treatment.

BioFire aims to simplify disease diagnostics with its automated FilmArray Portable Pathogen Test Kit System — a lab-in-a-box, roughly the size of a toaster. After mere minutes of sample setup, the system analyzes, identifies, and reports multiple pathogens at once in only one hour, including the Ebola virus, Marburg virus, and anthrax. Test packets contain reagents in room-temperature-stable, freeze-dried form.

The user-friendly FilmArray was recently deployed by the U.S. military in Africa as an Ebola screening tool, has been adopted by 300 hospitals, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, state and local law enforcement, and medical technicians.

The FilmArray System is an example of the impact of the U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Technology Transfer Program, which funds R&D by small businesses / cooperative R&D projects with small businesses and non-profit U.S. research institutions. The Air Force SBIR / STTR program focuses on projects and services with the potential to develop into a product for military or commercial sectors.

From 2000-2013, the Air Force invested nearly $4 billion in these R&D projects. BioFire received funding during this period to develop the FilmArray technology. This is BioFire’s story.

Case Number: 88ABW-2015-2324 CLEARED on 12 May 2015