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Opticul Diagnostics Joins Montgomery County Campus

Opticul Diagnostics logo Opticul Diagnostics, a startup medical diagnostic device company, joined the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus in February.

Husband and wife Israel and Gallya Gannot founded the company in Jerusalem in 2008. They formed a Maryland subsidiary in 2010. Israel Gannot is an associate research professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of JHU’s Whiting School of Engineering.

The in vitro diagnostic device company is targeting easy and low-cost clinical laboratory micro-organism identification without the use of chemical reagents. Every micro-organism has its own, unique fingerprint in the infrared zone. After a sample is taken from a patient, the swab can be examined with the use of the Optidet device. Using spectroscopic methods, the device can determine whether the patient has strep, E. coli or other bacterial infections.

The advantage of the Gannots’ device, they said, is it yields results faster than other commonly used devices, with data coming within minutes. That  rapid information helps doctors treat patients better and more quickly.

The sample can be inserted directly into the device without the use of reagents, making the device simple to use.

“It’s saving time. It’s saving money. It’s saving expertise,” Gallya Gannot said.

The Gannots are seeking the approval of the Federal Drug Administration and envision their device being used in hospitals and laboratories.

Israel Gannot was born in Israel, where he studied electrical and biomedical engineering. Gallya Gannot was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, moved to Israel as a child as is trained in dentistry. They both have Ph.D. degrees and have completed post-doctoral work.

They spent years moving back and forth between Israel and Maryland. In Maryland, they enjoyed the proximity to the FDA, National Institutes of Health, biotechnology companies and clinical study opportunities.

Before relocating to Johns Hopkins University’s Montgomery County Campus, Opticul Diagnostics was located in the William E. Hanna Jr. Innovation Center, one of Montgomery County’s incubators.

Opticul Diagnostics has received funding from private investors, and a venture capitalist, as well as grants from the state of Maryland.

With the addition of Opticul Diagnostics, approximately 35 companies are part of the Montgomery County Campus. Scientists and researchers here study cervical cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cell therapy, proteins and other health topics. Other companies focus on technology, children’s mental health, medical devices and consulting services.

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