Biodetection Technologies: Biothreat and Pathogen Detection25th International
Biodetection Technologies:
Biothreat and Pathogen Detection
June 26-27, 2017

The 25th International Biodetection Technologies: Biothreat and Pathogen Detection is an internationally recognized meeting for experts in detection & identification of biological threats. This conference will address the key topics in pathogen detection and present the latest R&D and technological innovations in ready-to-market systems. In addition, this meeting will focus on the latest strategies for overcoming the hurdles to the identification of global biological threats and translational gaps in bringing technologies from lab to field. This conference will feature stimulating discussions, perspectives of end users, and high quality case studies, and will provide the opportunity to network with the leading experts in biodefense from around the globe.

This event is followed by Biodetection Technologies: Point-of-Care for Biodefense being held from June 27-28, 2017. Together, these two events will provide three full days of comprehensive programming around biodetection technologies for biodefense.

Final Agenda

Monday, June 26, 2017

7:00 am Registration and Morning Coffee

Advances in Nucleic Acid Technologies & Next-Generation Sequencing

8:25 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Alina Deshpande, Ph.D., Group Leader, Biosecurity and Public Health, Bioscience Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory

8:30 OPENING KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Rapid Surveillance of the Ebola Genome Sequence with Microarray Technology

Robert_DuncanRobert Duncan, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, DETTD, FDA/CBER

RNA genome viruses like Ebola acquire nucleotide changes in their genome that can alter pathogenesis, detection and immune response. The resequencing microarray technology enables rapid determination of genome sequence of the virus in a blood sample to identify the source of infection, track the epidemic and detect disruptive alterations. Evaluation of the performance of the resequencing microarray with multiple species of Ebola virus will be presented.

9:00 Nuclease-Activated Probes for Rapid, Target-Specific Detection of Bacterial Pathogens

James McNamara, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Internal Medicine, University of Iowa

Diagnosis of many bacterial infections currently relies on time-consuming culture-based assays. With quenched fluorescent oligonucleotide probes that are selectively activated by nucleases of target bacterial pathogens, we have developed rapid assays for the detection of various high-impact bacterial pathogens. Applications include noninvasive optical imaging of S. aureus infections, and in vitro detection of S. aureus bacteremia and E. coli urinary tract infections. Considering the ubiquitous and diverse nature of nucleases, this approach has potential as a platform technology for bacterial infectious diseases.

9:30 Site-Specific Conjugation to Antibodies and Antibody Fragments via the Conserved Nucleotide Binding Site (NBS) for Rapid Assay Development

Nathan J. Alves, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine

The nucleotide binding site (NBS) is a binding pocket located between the heavy and light chains of the variable antibody Fab fragment that is conserved across both antibody isotype and species of origin. Utilizing a small molecule which binds specifically to the NBS, a site-specific photo-crosslinking technique was developed to readily functionalize antibodies allowing for oriented antibody immobilization to sensor surfaces as well as functionalization with: fluorescent probes, affinity molecules, nanoparticles, peptides, and other diverse reporter molecules.

10:00 Networking Coffee Break

Identification & Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens

10:30 Developing FDA-Cleared Clinical Diagnostic Systems to Address the Need during a Public Health Emergency – HHS/ASPR/BARDA Chem-Bio-Rad-Nuc, Pandemic Influenza, and Emerging Infectious Disease Diagnostics Initiatives

Donna Boston, Project Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), BARDA

Early and accurate diagnosis can facilitate the provision of the correct antibiotic or other therapeutics and will help ensure that countermeasures with limited availability such as antitoxins are prescribed appropriately and provided to individuals who will benefit from such treatments. HHS/ASPR/BARDA is supporting the development of FDA-cleared diagnostic systems for CBRN agents, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious disease pathogens, and for the characterization of antimicrobial resistant pathogens.

11:00 Novel Pathogen-Specific Imaging Biomarkers for Rapid, Noninvasive Whole Body Detection, Localization and Monitoring of Infections

Sanjay Jain, M.D., Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Current tools to diagnose and monitor infections are dependent upon sampling suspected sites, and then performing culture or molecular techniques. This approach is invasive, often dangerous, time consuming, and is subject to incorrect sampling and contamination. Molecular imaging is a powerful, noninvasive tool that can rapidly provide three-dimensional views of disease processes deep within the body. Moreover, it has the fundamental advantage (with significant potential for clinical translation) to conduct noninvasive longitudinal assessments of the same patient.

11:30 MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry Methods for Identifying High-Consequence Biothreat Bacteria 

Dobryan Tracz, Biologist, Bioforensics Assay Development and Diagnostics Section, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada

The identification of high-consquence bacterial pathogens with MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is challenging due to database content and quality. A high-quality local database, containing mass spectral profiles (MSP) of biothreat bacterial agents and their near-neighbor species, was developed and assessed for Biotyper match scores and potential biomarker peaks.

12:00 pm Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

Agro-Defense, Toxins & Allergens

1:55 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Willy Valdivia-Granda, Ph.D., CEO, Orion Integrated Biosciences

2:00 xMAP® Multiplex Detection: Getting beyond Detection to Include Built-In Confirmation, Characterization, and the Ability to Distinguish between Unanticipated Homologous Analytes

Eric Garber, Ph.D., Division of Bioanalytical Chemistry, Office of Regulatory Science, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA

By using antibody-based multiplex methods (e.g., xMAP®) it is possible to generate antigenic profiles along with other second-order forms of data processing. These results can provide built-in confirmation, recognition, and characterization of unique features, as well as the detection of novel unexpected analytes. Such approaches have been applied to the detection of toxins and recently a commercial assay was developed for the detection of food allergens to meet the complexity of a growing global marketplace and an increase in the apparent prevalence of food allergies.

2:30 Agro-Defense - A Holistic, All of Enterprise Approach

Tammy R. Beckham, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dean, Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University

The ability to protect our agricultural industries, food supply, and public health sectors from natural introductions of biological agents, agro-terror threats, and emerging and re-emerging diseases is heavily dependent on an organized, strategic, and well-funded approach. This approach should institutionalize the “One Health” concept, be highly collaborative in nature, leverage all available resources and encompass an international, global health component. The One Health concept must be understood, adopted and become part of the fabric of the way in which we approach biodefense.

Screening, Capture & Biosurveillance

3:00 Development of 11-Plex MOL-PCR Assay for the Rapid Screening of Samples for Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli

Alina Deshpande, Ph.D., Group Leader, Biosecurity and Public Health, Bioscience Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains are a serious public health threat with about half of the STEC related foodborne illnesses attributable to contaminated beef. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has developed an assay that can screen samples for several important STEC-associated serogroups (O26,O45,O103, O104,O111,O121,O145,O157) and three major virulence factors (eae,stx1,stx2) in a rapid and multiplexed format using the Multiplex oligonucleotide ligation-PCR (MOL-PCR) assay chemistry. This presentation describes the development and testing of the 11-plex assay that could serve as the backbone for high-throughput screening systems for both routine screening and outbreak investigation.

3:30 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

Rapid and Future Technologies for Biodetection

4:15 Broad-Based Detection and Classification of Pathogens Using Antimicrobial Peptides for Pathogen Capture

Chris Taitt, Ph.D., Research Biologist, United States Naval Research Laboratory

Many current biodetectors are designed either to detect a limited number of known pathogens or to determine whether something biological is present, with little further characterization. Here, we use broad-based, semi-selective binding molecules - antimicrobial peptides - to detect a broad variety of microbes, with classification/discrimination based on binding patterns. We have recently initiated efforts to use the unique structure/function relationship of these same peptides to achieve “reagentless” sensing.

4:45 Genomic-Based Characterization and Biosurveillance of Known and Unknown Microorganisms of Biodefense Relevance

Willy Valdivia-Granda, Ph.D., CEO, Orion Integrated Biosciences

Next-generation sequencing technologies offer an unparalleled opportunity to detect and characterize microbes of public health and agrodefense concern. However, the simultaneous analysis of hundreds of genomic and metagenomic datafiles generated by different sequencing platforms remains complex. Here we present a ubiquitous approach for microbial identification that generates molecular taxonomic profiles of known and unknown microbes contextualized with geospatial attributes for attribution, bioforensics, biosurveillance and risk assessment. The implications of our system for deterrence and biodefense will be discussed.

5:15 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

6:15 End of Day

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

8:00 am Morning Coffee

Identification & Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens

8:25 Chairperson’s Remarks

Donna Boston, Project Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), BARDA

8:30 Stability of Isolated Antibody-Antigen Complexes as a Predictive Tool for Selecting Toxin Neutralizing Antibodies

Patricia Legler, Ph.D., Research Biologist, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Ricin is an A-B ribosome inactivating protein (RIP) toxin composed of an A-chain subunit (RTA) that contains a catalytic N-glycosidase and a B-chain (RTB) lectin domain that binds cell surface glycans. A subset of isolated antibodies (Abs) raised against the RTA subunit protect against ricin intoxication, and RTA-based vaccine immunogens have been shown to provide long-lasting protective immunity against the holotoxin. We hypothesized that neutralizing anti-RTA Abs may interfere selectively with conformational change(s) or partial unfolding required for toxin internalization.

Translation of Biodetection Technologies to Field Ready Applications

9:00 Field Portable Platforms for Multiplex Detection of Biothreat Agents

Neeraja Venkateswaran, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Research and Development, Tetracore, Inc.

This presentation will discuss the development of novel field portable systems used for detection of up to four targets per test using multiplex Lateral Flow Assays (LFA) and Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). The visual result on LFAs is more objective and error free by using the hand held readers. These readers also keep a record and provide a numeric result for each positive or negative signal seen on LFA in under 30 seconds and were specifically designed for use by first responders.

MeMed Diagnostics9:30 A Novel Host Protein-Based Assay and POC Platform for Rapidly Distinguishing Between Bacterial and Viral Infections

Eran Eden, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, MeMed

We have developed a novel assay that integrates measurements of host proteins (TRAIL, IP-10, CRP) as an aid to differentiate bacterial from viral infection; its diagnostic performance has been demonstrated in 3 independent clinical studies (Total n = 2376). To improve utility, the assay is being mounted on a user-friendly platform that provides results within 15 minutes.

10:00 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

10:45 The Implications of CRISPR-Based Gene Drives for National Security

Paul Enríquez, J.D., LLM, Structural and Molecular Biochemistry Department, North Carolina State University

Recent advances in CRISPR-based genome editing technologies have led to the development of a powerful tool to quickly reshape entire populations of wild organisms. The technique, called a gene drive, raises important legal, scientific, and ethical questions for the future of national and global biosecurity. This talk explores the key legal and regulatory issues associated with CRISPR-based gene drives. It highlights the need to address current regulatory gaps in the field, and underscores the importance of engaging members of the biodefense community in developing an adequate policy infrastructure.

Next-Generation Device Commercialization

11:15 PANEL DISCUSSION: Overcoming the Barriers to Commercialization for the Next Generation in Diagnostic and Detection Devices

Moderator: Paul S. Eder, Ph.D., Senior Medical Diagnostics Analyst, Principal, Tunnell Government Services Contractor, Division of Diagnostics and Medical Devices (DMD), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

This panel discussion will examine the device development cycle from identifying the need in the marketplace to developing the technology and the strategies for implementation. In addition, our panel of experts will discuss how to navigate the FDA clearance process to insure successful device commercialization.

12:15 pm End of Biodetection Technologies: Biothreat and Pathogen Detection Track