SiO2 Materials Science, based in Auburn, has launched a blood collection tube it calls the Synergy Tube, its first genetic diagnostics product on the market.
“The Synergy Tube is a BCT specifically designed to optimize nucleic acid recovery and cancer tumor cells from the point of blood draw,” the company says in announcing the new product.
Glass tubes are fragile and plastic tubes are permeable. The firm’s new tube seeks to overcome both problems.
“We take the benefits of glass and the benefits of plastics and make a new material,” explains chief commercial officer Lawrence Ganti. The new material is useful in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, even baby bottles. But the blood collection tube is SiO2’s first entry in the genetics and diagnostics marketplace.
The product’s key beneficiary is the patient, Ganti says. Both DNA and RNA can be collected in a single tube, meaning fewer blood draws for the patient — perhaps a cancer patient, perhaps a pregnant woman worried about genetic conditions.
Next, the tube protects samples from variations in temperature and altitude and other environmental risks. That’s important because most samples for genetic testing are transported far beyond the walls of the lab or hospital where blood is drawn. While a blood sample may be checked for cholesterol or sugar abnormalities at the local hospital lab, most genetic testing is done in specialty labs, which may be hundreds of miles away.
A benefit to the testing lab, the SiO2 tube also separates the DNA from the blood.
SiO2 began its research and development work in Auburn in 2010. The firm’s headquarters, manufacturing and most of its 170 employees work in Auburn. Some business functions are located in the Philadelphia area.