Innovation/Application: Diatherix

Randy Ward, president of Diatherix Laboratories, answers questions about the company, their work and HudsonAlpha.

Q: When and where did Diatherix Laboratories begin?

DIATHERIX began operation when HudsonAlpha opened, April of 2008.
Q: Why did you move to HudsonAlpha?

Actually, Genaco (the predecessor of DIATHERIX) was one of the first companies designated to come to institute, well before the time I moved to Huntsville and got involved. Jim [Hudson] and Jian [Han] were planning on setting up a lab here when HudsonAlpha was still being designed.
Q: How is Diatherix Laboratories helping diagnose and fight illness and disease?

We use Tem-PCR technology to identify bacteria, viruses and genetic antibiotic resistances from patient specimens. We receive these specimens daily from all over the United States. They come from hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices.
Q: For what types of illnesses does Diatherix have diagnostic test panels?

All types of infections including wounds, implant infections, etc. We test for the viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. We test for HPV infections that cause cervical cancer.

Q: How do you determine which bacteria, viruses and genetic antibiotic resistances to include in your test panels?

We chose the most common bacteria and viruses to start with and we have added more with input from physicians throughout the country.
Q: How do Diatherix’s diagnostic tests work?

The test is a modified PCR test that uses 4 primers and a super primer for each genetic target.
Q: Has the relationship between Diatherix and HudsonAlpha been as successful as you anticipated?

Yes! The interaction with other companies has already brought us a new detection platform that will greatly enhance our turnaround time.

Q: What is next for Diatherix?

We are working on a gastrointestinal panel that will include C. Diff and other pathogens. We are also are working on a panel for sexually transmitted disease. After that there is a long list of panels that providers want.