The company is privately owned and is based in Horsham in the South of England, close to Gatwick Airport and within an hour of Heathrow Airport and the centre of London. OptiGene was established with the primary goal of providing the highest quality instrumentation and performance-leading reagents to support isothermal amplification of DNA and RNA. The market pull for this venture came from the growing demands around the world for field testing, rapid results and point-of-care diagnostics.
OptiGene has developed innovative products that support sensitive and specific detection of bacteria and viruses for use in the fields of plant health, food safety, veterinary medicine, environmental monitoring and healthcare. Bio-defence and forensics are also key markets that OptiGene addresses, either directly or through its growing network of international distributors. The company has exploited its expertise in both instrument design and enzymology to develop a sophisticated open platform that will support all isothermal amplification methods. Ultra-sensitive molecular detection that has been constrained to laboratory use by highly-qualified personnel and taking hours to complete can now be deployed to point of application and run with very little training, producing results in single minutes.
The Genie II instrument is the flagship product of OptiGene and has been in full production since the spring of 2011. Genie II is now found in a variety of diagnostic settings around the world. It is supported by specially-designed plastic strips that have lockable caps and that are easy to handle. Enzymes are available in the form of several master mixes that feature combinations of high-speed operation, inherent RT activity and thermostability. A continuous programme of development is maintained at OptiGene in order to satisfy the evolving demands of its customers and the wider market. New instruments are planned that will include a smaller device that will suit on-site use and more sophisticated optical arrangements that can support multiplexed assays. Improvements in the company’s enzymes are on-going with faster and more stable master mixes planned for release. OptiGene can also offer to develop variants of its products on behalf of OEM customers and these can adopt the customer’s corporate branding and include special features.