Dec 15, 2020
Acheson named as a strategic advisor to chair committee for PathogenDX

PathogenDx Inc., an Arizona-based technology company that has developed a multiplexed microarray DNA-based pathogen testing platform, announced Dec. 14 that Dr. David Acheson will join the company as a strategic advisor.

According to a news release, as part of the role, Acheson will form a food safety committee that will inform the company’s development of rapid detection testing technologies for the food industry.

Acheson brings more than 35 years of medical and food safety research and experience to PathogenDx. Formally trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases, he left his practice to teach and study at Tufts University in Boston, where he researched the molecular pathogenesis of foodborne pathogens. Subsequently, he was tapped to serve as Chief Medical Officer at both the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), and was later appointed as the first Associate Commissioner for Foods at FDA.

For the past decade, Acheson has consulted with the world’s largest and best known food brands at all levels of the food supply chain through his firm The Acheson Group.

In recent years, there have been numerous recalls and disease outbreaks due to dangerous bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella and lsteria. Contamination can happen at nearly any point in the supply chain, from unclean water used to irrigate crops to dirty conveyor belts used to transport food. Test turnaround time and accuracy are of the utmost importance when it comes to perishable items that rapidly move from the farm to the fork.

PathogenDx has developed a unique technology that can rapidly test at any point in the supply chain. Their ultra-rapid method provides results in just six hours – a fraction of the time that culture or qRT-PCR methods take, which average 2-3 days. With continued outbreaks, the food industry is at an inflexion point in needing advanced technologies that can accurately identify foodborne pathogens within a single-shift at a cost that is affordable.

“Food companies operate under extraordinary risk. There’s regulatory and compliance risk, health and food safety risk and ultimately reputational risk,” Acheson said. “PathogenDx’s innovative testing technology is one of the fastest and most reliable tools a food company can use to mitigate risks on each front. I am proud to chair this new group to create a better industry standard for testing that ultimately improves overall safety.”

Acheson has published extensively and is internationally recognized both for his public health expertise in food safety and his research in infectious diseases. In addition to using his regulatory insight, food safety knowledge and expertise in crisis response to advise food industry clients around the globe on how to best manage risk in a global supply chain and evolving regulatory landscape, Acheson serves on a variety of boards and food safety advisory groups of several major food manufacturers.

“Dr. Acheson is a force within the world of food safety. There is no one more experienced to guide our company into this new area where testing advancements are desperately needed,” said Milan Patel, co-founder and CEO of PathogenDx. “We are thrilled that he will lend his advice and expertise to our team and help us accelerate our growth in this space.”

The news of Dr. Acheson’s appointment as advisor follows the company’s recent announcement that it is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in ongoing research to study the effectiveness of its microarray testing technology in identifying food borne pathogens throughout the food supply chain.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, PathogenDx’s mission is to become the new standard in DNA-based testing through widespread adoption of its advanced microarray testing platform for the human diagnostics, food and agricultural industries. PathogenDx’s technology can rapidly identify and detect up to 50 pathogens all in a single test, in six hours providing triplicate data per analyte for certainty in results with a simple and easy process.

The company’s DNA-testing products – DetectX, QuantX, and EnviroX – are disrupting the century-old practice of petri-dish testing to identify, detect and quantify pathogens that are a threat to human health, their ecosystem and the environment.

This technology will help growing businesses deliver safer products and healthier lives, while preventing billions of dollars in losses from infection and contamination. For more information on how you can utilize this simple, powerful and inexpensive DNA-based pathogen testing, visit here.

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