ROCKVILLE, MD.(BUSINESS WIRE) May 1, 2013 - Two weeks after the first mailings of powders confirmed to be bioterrorism agents were sent to President Obama, a U.S. Senator, and a Mississippi judge, 20/20 BioResponse reports a substantial increase in orders and inquiries for its patented BioCheck® Suspicious Powder Screening kits.
Developed after the anthrax mailings in 2001, BioCheck® is a test kit used by hundreds of emergency responders worldwide, civilian and military, to quickly and reliably assess unknown, suspicious powders for potential biological threats.
In 2009, a study by scientists from the U.S. Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) (commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security) was reported in the Journal of Hazardous Materials that assessed the performance of three commercial tests commonly used by U.S. first responders to screen suspicious powders. Of the three, only BioCheck® was demonstrated effective in detecting ricin by the ECBC scientists.¹
"We are proud that our product, confirmed effective for detecting ricin by a leading U.S. Army lab, is helping first responders assess hundreds of hoaxes and false alarms in the wake of the recent ricin mailings," said Product Manager Barry Cohen. "This surge follows year-over-year growth as cash strapped government agencies seek relatively inexpensive solutions to deal with the powder scare phenomenon. BioCheck® has been found by many federal agencies as well as municipal and county public safety agencies to be among the most cost effective biological screening tools on the market today.
By quickly ruling out a dangerous substance from a harmless hoax powder, considerable time, disruption and cost can be minimized at the outset of an incident," said Cohen.
In response to the sudden surge in demand for BioCheck® the company is responding with additional production capacity. "Even with the surge in orders, we are responding with additional production personnel and we should be able to deliver new orders in about 14 days from receipt," said Cohen. Agencies that anticipate the need to order BioCheck® kits in the next few weeks should contact the company as soon as possible so kits can be allocated accordingly.
20/20 BioResponse (www.biocheckinfo.com) produces products used in the areas of field testing of biological pathogens. The company is based in Rockville, Maryland. 20/20 BioResponse is dedicated to delivering innovative biotechnology to emergency responders. The company is a division of 20/20 GeneSystems, Inc. (www.2020gene.com) which focuses on the development and commercialization of innovative, unique diagnostic products for cancer and other diseases. The company is privately held and headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.
¹ C. Poore, et al., An evaluation of suspicious powder screening tools for first responders, J. Hazard. Mater. (Dec. 2009), doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.05.142
CONTACT: 20/20 BioResponse
240-453-6339 ext. 101
SOURCE: 20/20 BioResponse