Baltimore biotech company
. is hiring a dozen employees in the next 18 months as the company rolls out a new product.
The 12-person company wants to hire new staff who have a biology background and are familiar with lab practices, PathSensors President Ted Olsen says. He says he is also looking for personnel in quality assurance and shipping.
Last year, the company received $200,000 from the Maryland Biotechnology Center to develop a new product that detects harmful bacteria in food products. The environmental and food testing company is working on a product to detect Campylocacter, a genus of bacteria that can cause intestinal infections in humans. It has already developed a product that can detect and test for Salmonella.
Olsen says the company’s agri-food division will expand its products to the food processing industry, with more tests to identify contamination in pork and beef products, for example. The company’s biosecurity division offers products that detect biological threats such as mail screening for Anthrax. “Major high-profile government buildings use our products on a daily basis,” he says.
“In our market segments of food processing, there is a high level of interest in our technology,” Olsen says. He expects the Campylocactor test to be developed this year and available in 2013.
Campylocacter is most commonly found in poultry and beef products. Salmonella, another type of bacteria, can cause food poisoning in humans and also is found in poultry products.
PathSensors was founded two years ago as an offshoot of Innovative Biosensors, a Rockville company whose focus is clinical diagnostics. Olsen moved PathSensors to the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore because of the availability of office and laboratory space and qualified employees who are trained at Baltimore City Community College and the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland.
The company’s products are sold to systems that do the collecting and testing, and the products can deliver results in minutes, versus hours for competitors' tests, says Olsen.
In its three years, the Maryland Biotechnology Center has awarded $4.5 million to Maryland biotech companies. For the 2012 awards, 90 companies applied; seven, including PathSensors, were chosen.
Source: Ted Olsen, PathSensors, Inc.
Writer: Barbara Pash