Vivione Biosciences Partners with KPL on Pathogen Detection Kits

by Mark Carter  on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 2:12 pm  

Kevin Kuykendall, CEO of Vivione Biosciences. (Photo by Mike Pirnique)

Vivione Biosciences of Pine Bluff has partnered with Kirkegaard & Perry Laboratories of Gaithersburg, Md., to develop its RAPID-B food-borne pathogen detection kits.

The partnership allows Vivione to expedite commercialization of the product, according to CEO Kevin Kuykendall. The development process will be reduced from nine to 12 months to roughly three to six months through the partnership, he said. 

Essentially, Vivione is outsourcing certain research and development components, and has already trained KPL employees on its RAPID-B system.

KPL, founded in 1979, is a leader in antibody-based reagent production. Kuykendall called the partnership with KPL a strategic one for Vivione.

"We think we can save millions of dollars and years of development time while keeping expenses under control," Kuykendall said. "This way, there's no trial and error. This is a good deal for us."

Vivione's RAPID-B system combines flow cytometry with proprietary reagents that target particular pathogens, providing detection down to a single cell in as little as seven hours as opposed to the 48 hours required through most systems, Kuykendall said. The first commercial kit has been submitted for independent certification by the Association of Analytical Communities. 

Vivione, an Innovate Arkansas and ASTA client firm, employs three full-time workers at its 2,000-SF Pine Bluff Arsenal lab. After going public in March on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Vivione officially partnered with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture to collaborate on research into food-borne pathogens.

It already works with the federal National Center for Toxicological Research at Jefferson.

Kuykendall said Vivione plans to begin hiring more lab workers of its own at the beginning of the new year, possibly as early as the fourth quarter of 2013.   



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