FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Vivione Biosciences Inc., a life sciences diagnostic company based in Jefferson, has signed a collaboration agreement with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Center for Food Safety and Department of Food Science.
The agreement includes a grant of up to $115,000 from Vivione in support of Center for Food Safety research into Salmonella, Listeria and other food-borne pathogens.
Vivione is commercializing its RAPID-B diagnostic platform into the food safety market. RAPID-B has the potential to provide food pathogen detection down to a single cell in as little as seven hours (including sample preparation) versus the days that it takes with competitive systems. The rapid time to results capability could allow food processors to more closely monitor their manufacturing plants, incoming raw materials as well as mitigate the risk of a food safety recall.
“In addition to being on the leading edge of the technologies and research that are driving ongoing improvements in food science, they (the UA System Division of Agriculture) also have a unique perspective due to their strong relationships with some of the largest global food companies,” said Kevin Kuykendall, Vivione’s CEO. “We are very happy to be working with them to help refine our products as well as having the (Division of Agriculture) being an objective judge of our analytical performance.”
Steven C. Ricke, director of the Center for Food Safety, said, “We have been informally involved with Vivione’s RAPID-B platform for a number of years and have appreciated all of the work that has gone into the platform’s development. We are very pleased to now formalize our relationship and are looking forward to actively contributing to RAPID-B’s success. Vivione’s RAPID-B platform could have a dramatic impact on a customer’s food safety program. The ability to sample, analyze, and intervene all within a manufacturing shift is a significant improvement over existing pathogen detection technologies. RAPID-B’s ability to detect a single cell of bacteria in seven hours or less, including sample preparation time, will provide food producers with the ability to reduce inventory hold times and improve manufacturing efficiencies, and ultimately reduce their product costs.”
Vivione partnered with the federal Food and Drug Administration National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson for more than six years to develop RAPID-B. Vivione believes RAPID-B has the potential to provide for the rapid detection of bacterial pathogens, making RAPID-B applicable to the food safety, clinical diagnostics and other markets including agricultural, water testing, pharmaceutical and medical device applications.
In May 2012, Vivione moved into its current Jefferson County laboratory space after receiving $73,000 in incentives from the Economic Development Corp. of Jefferson County Economic.
The Department of Food Science consists of 14 nationally recognized faculty and 10 adjunct faculty with support personnel who are dedicated to teaching, research and service in areas of food chemistry and quality, microbial food safety, food processing, food packaging, sensory analysis, food engineering, functionality and health benefits of foods. The department’s facilities including classrooms, laboratories and food processing pilot plant are modern and well equipped for effective education and research.
The mission of the Center for Food Safety is to conduct research on the safety and quality of food products with a focus on biological, chemical and physical hazards. The center is dedicated to the development and utilization of advanced research technologies and to the communication of research findings to assist in building public confidence in the protection, safety, quality and nutritional value of food products.