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Whatman and FDA Announce Joint Project to Improve Food Safety Analysis; Government Joins with Leader in Separations Technology for Expertise in Filter Technology.

Science Writers/Health/Medical Writers

CLIFTON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 5, 2004

Whatman Inc., a global leader in separations technology, today announced a joint two-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) project with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The goal of the collaborative work is to devise a method for the detection of food-borne pathogens using size-exclusion filtration in combination with FTA(R) filters. In the end, the FDA hopes to have an effective method of completing analysis of food samples that can be conducted on site.

Previously, the FDA used standard bacteriological methods for sample preparation and analysis to determine if food and the wash used for the leafy vegetables are infected with pathogens harmful for human consumption. These methods were time-consuming and not as effective as hoped. The organization decided to partner with Whatman to help modify and customize DNA-based detection methods utilizing the company's FTA technology.

Whatman FTA is a chemical treatment that allows for the rapid isolation and protection of nucleic acids at room temperature. According to the terms of the agreement with the FDA, Whatman will supply reagents and filters to perform all the work necessary to improve methods for the detection of food-borne pathogens. Whatman will participate in a validation study using a combination of size-exclusion and FTA filters, as well as proven expertise in filter technology and filtration units. The determined method could then be applicable to any type of food matrix and have practical application to environmental and water samples. From there, the method will be adapted to real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for field use.

"Whatman is committed to food safety, and proud to collaborate with the FDA to aid in refining a method with the ultimate goal of rapid analysis of food samples," stated Dr. Martin Smith, vice president of research and development of Whatman. "Not only will this science benefit the project but ultimately we hope for it to be adopted as the standard application for the rapid analysis of food and environmental safety."

At the conclusion of the two year study, the finished product will serve as a universal PCR template preparation protocol based on the FTA filter technology for the detection of human pathogens, such as bacteria, parasitic protozoa and viral particles, found in foods, soil, water and clinical specimens. It is envisioned that this method will be applied to most, if not all, food matrices and will be developed into a format for real-time PCR analysis of food samples to aid in the rapid detection of any pathogens that can be harmful to humans.

The Whatman FTA product family includes customized FTA cards designed for the collection and transportation of biological materials, and GenSpin and GenSpin Plant, hands-on kits designed for the rapid purification of genomic DNA from blood or plant samples.

About Whatman Genomics and Proteomics Group

The Whatman Genomics and Proteomics Group is one of four business development units within the Whatman organization. The Genomics and Proteomics group provides a broad range of technologies for the collection, transportation, purification and analysis of nucleic acids. The group focuses on customers researching DNA across a range of industries, including forensics, academic research, diagnostics, clinical research, environmental science and agriculture.

About Whatman

Whatman is a global leader in separations technology and is known in the scientific community for providing innovative life science products and solutions. Our instinct for simplification accelerates the rate of discovery, reduces costs and saves time.

FTA and Whatman are trademarks of the Whatman Group, Whatman, Inc. All other copyrights are property of their respective rightsholders.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 5, 2004
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