Russian startup won a silver medal at the competition Intel Global Challenge

Russian startup Maxygen, has developed an innovative system for mobile DNA diagnostics, won a silver medal at the international competition of technological entrepreneurs Intel Global Challenge (IGC), the final of which was held on Thursday in the California city of Berkeley.


This is the first victory of the Russian team in the competition, held this year for the seventh time. IGC competition focused on startups with original technological developments that are going to bring their product to the mass market. In the semi-finals in California attended by three dozen teams from around the world, pre-selected during the regional competition. For the final competition judges selected eight projects — three Russian finalists among them was only Maxygen.

"Technology Maxygen is applicable to a large number of applications, we are focused on the diagnosis of diseases because it is the biggest market. Our design can be adapted for the detection of predisposition to cancer, and determine paternity ", — Said Valeriy Ilinskiy, the head of a startup.

The idea of the project Maxygen is to radically reduce the cost and complexity of complex instruments necessary for DNA analysis used today in the diagnosis of many infectious diseases. Team Maxygen, consisting of recent graduates of biological and mechanical-mathematical faculty of Moscow State University, will receive the award from the IGC size of 20,000 dollars.

According to yesterday's 21-year-old student of the Biology Department, ILIINSKOGO traditional system of DNA diagnostics (PCR method) is worth about half a million dollars, includes two dozen devices, and is served by three operators. Desktop machine Maxygen, according to company, will cost about a thousand dollars and can be used directly doctor that will eliminate the need to send to the laboratory diagnostic material and reduce the time of receipt of analysis from a few hours (and often nights) to ten minutes.


Cost analysis unit can also be reduced by an order (up to 0.1-4 dollars) in comparison with traditional methods, said Iliinskii. Its disadvantage is the inability to obtain quantitative results, at this stage, but the developers hope to solve this problem in the future.

The know-how of Maxygen is the original system of heating and cooling of the sample (reduces troubleshooting time from one to two hours and ten minutes), and the chemical components of the diagnosis (genetically engineered enzyme for DNA extraction). According to the Saint Elias, the company expects to produce a device on a foreign company (negotiations with a partner in Hong Kong are already underway), retaining control of the most important technologies of the final assembly and quality control.

The following year, Maxygen expects to produce ten units are assembled on orders from Russian customers. The first version of the system will cost more than the stated price of the project, however, the ability to analyze virtually in real time attracts many large companies, says Ilinskiy.

Contest technology entrepreneurs Intel Global Challenge was founded in 2005 by Intel Corporation and the University of California at Berkeley. In the contest are the teams with original technological developments that calculate bring your product to the mass market, and has not yet received venture capital funding.

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