With a roster of patents ranging from medical diagnostics, stem-cell research and applied microbiology, NanoLogix has kept a low profile for much of its existence. Its new work, with ramifications for fields as far-reaching as homeland security to food safety, is about to change that for the Hubbard-based tech firm.
Begun more than 20 years ago as Infectech, the company for years focused on research and other endeavors, including alternative energy. But when CEO Bret Barhnizer came on board in 2007, he quickly saw the commercial potential for the company's work in diagnostic technology.
"We had years of work behind the scenes, developing pieces of the puzzle, but hadn't put all the pieces together," he says. "We recognized early on that the company wasn't monetizing its patents, not taking advantage of its expertise."
Re-christened NanoLogix in 2005, the company quickly refocused on rapid detection testing. Using membranes treated through new filtering and staining processes, its Ultra-Fast testing kits are designed to detect the presence of harmful microorganisms, looking for antibody-antigen reactions, in a fraction of the time as traditional petri dish tests.
In the case of anthrax, Nanologix's test delivered results in 2-6 hours, as opposed to the old standard of 24 hours. Its Y. pestis test — for bubonic plague — delivered in 24 hours, rather than 48 hours, the previous gold standard.
"We would go to exhibitions, and the scientists were enthralled by our technology," Barnhizer says.
While the kits continue third-party testing as a prelude to gaining FDA approval for use in other than scientific experiments, NanoLogix has already started reaping the rewards. Last year, it signed a multi-year contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop rapid testing for bacterial threats to drinking water.
The company has also built a 2,800-square foot manufacturing facility in Hubbard to will localize work being done elsewhere, from Cincinnati to Houston.
Source: Bret T. Barnhizer, NanoLogix
Writer: Dave Malaska