- Company News
- Posted Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Aquaculture America 2017 Sets the Bar High for Smith-Root and Biomeme
The 2017 Aquaculture America Conference was held in the historic city of San Antonio, Texas this past week. Smith-Root was there to promote several aquaculture products including Biomeme's Two3 unit, which is a hand-held qPCR device capable of rapidly detecting aquatic pathogens. Accompanying Smith-Root was Biomeme co-founder and business lead, Max Perelman, who was there in support of the two companies' partnership.
Aquaculture America 2017 was the first major aquaculture conference where the Biomeme Two3 unit and associated pathogen detection kits were being promoted, and it was certainly well received. Needless to say, Smith-Root and Biomeme representatives had high expectations for the conference, but nobody had anticipated the level of interest that was to come. For three consecutive days, attendees crowded Smith-Root's booth to chat about the functions and applications of the Two3 unit. The excitement generated by the attendees resulted in a lot of "Ooos" and "Ahhhs." Generally speaking, the attendees were blown away by the device's ability to detect target pathogens in less than 45 minutes. By the third day, Smith-Root was clean out of product flyers and business cards. Phong Nguyen, a research scientist at Smith-Root, said, "This was a great conference. We spoke with aquatic health specialists, program directors, hatchery managers, and company CEOs from all around the world. It was great to see excitement in the crowd. We ran out of materials but that's a good thing, and we'll definitely be more prepared next time!"
The conference also provided a platform for Smith-Root and Biomeme to determine which aquatic pathogens are of most concern on a global scale. One particular pathogen that came up frequently was Vibrio, which is a problematic bacteria that is frequent in oyster and shrimp farms. Moving forward, the two companies will rely on conferences like Aquaculture America to determine market demand for future development of new pathogen test kits.
Smith-Root scientists Austen Thomas and Phong Nguyen also gave individual talks at the conference. Dr. Thomas presented on a joint proof-of-concept and validation study with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for the detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum—the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in fish—using the Biomeme Two3 unit. Meanwhile, Mr. Nguyen presented results from a collaborative study with WDFW, the VCA Veterinary Speciality Center of Seattle, and Tacoma Power in which the goal was to optimize electrosedation settings to improve fish welfare. Both presentations garnered a room full of audience members that were followed up by a great round of Q&A.
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