Medicinal Genomics Corp. (MGC), a pioneer in improving the quality, quantity and safety of cannabis, today announced it has signed a licensing agreement with Eiken Chemical Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan. The licensing agreement covers the use of a dozen patents related to Eiken’s Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) technology.
MGC will integrate the technology in its youPCR® proprietary cannabis testing platform for the detection of cannabis genes, genotypes, microorganisms, pests and pathogens on or in cannabis. With LAMP technology, MGC’s youPCR platform will enable marker-assisted selection at the point of grow, making it the most comprehensive, accurate and streamlined testing platform available. The test simply changes color to indicate if the pathogen or gene selected is present, similar to an over-the-counter pregnancy test.
“We are honored to be able to partner with Eiken and bring its innovative LAMP technology to the cannabis industry,” said Medicinal Genomics’s Chief Scientific Officer, Kevin McKernan. “Their methods are impeccable and their creative use of the science qualifies as a breakthrough for us and our customers. There is no doubt that this industry must embrace the very highest standards of quality and safety, and working with companies like Eiken helps get us to that elevated goal.”
“Our proprietary LAMP technology has been widely used in many fields including medical (human in vitro diagnostics), food testing, infectious disease test for animals and plants, environmental testing. We are very pleased Medicinal Genomics selected LAMP technology to integrate in their youPCR platform. We look forward to the contributions MGC’s youPCR platform utilizing LAMP will make to the cannabis industry,” commented Eiken’s President & CEO, Morifumi Wada.
LAMP is a simple, rapid, specific and cost-effective nucleic acid amplification method solely developed and patented by Eiken Chemical is extremely fast and does not require thermocyclers, making it particularly well suited for field applications and point-of-care molecular diagnostics assays. Incorporating it in the youPCR genetic screening platform will let hemp and cannabis cultivators run a more efficient operation by screening plants for gender, pest infestation, or genetic traits early in the grow cycle—while they are still in the seedling tray. Early screening can prevent costly infestations and save valuable time and resources that would otherwise be spent on sub-optimal plants or males.
The youPCR platform can also give early feedback on the progress of breeding strains with specific cannabinoid ratios. The youPCR CBDA Marker and youPCR THCA Marker tests can determine if a plant has the genes needed to produce CBGA, CBDA and/or THCA, just one week after germination in order to help growers select the best plants with the traits that will be most desirable in cross breeding.
Perhaps most beneficially, the youPCR platform can identify plants infected with powdery mildew, russet mites, or botrytis before they show visual symptoms. Growers can even use youPCR to screen incoming clones to make sure they are not introducing infected plants to the grow, and continue to screen plants throughout their life to keep pathogens in check.