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Spot On Sciences Announces Collaboration with Panthera.org in Snow Leopard Research

HemaSpot™ blood sampling device is used in successful radio collaring of the elusive snow leopard; First in Kyrgyz Republic

March 14, 2016

Austin, TX  March 14, 2016:  Spot On Sciences, the Texas-based biotech company that makes HemaSpot™, announced its participation with Panthera.org, the global wild cat conservation organization, in research efforts directed at the endangered snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan.  An international research team, led by Panthera, has succeeded in trapping and placing a satellite collar on a female snow leopard—a first for the Kyrgyz Republic.  In addition to the collaring, data gathering such as measurements and blood samples were obtained from the temporarily sedated snow leopard.

 

 

HemaSpot and Snow Leopard in Kyrgyzstan

Shannon Kachel (left), University of Washington doctoral candidate, and Ric Berlinski (right), a veterinarian at Toledo Zoo, radio collar the first snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan. Photo credit: Rahim Kulenbekov/Panthera/Kaiberen/NCMRD/SAEF/NAS/UW/SU

HemaSpot, a transportable blood sampling device, is based on dried blood spot (DBS) technology and enabled the team to secure stable blood samples from the specimen in a remote and resource-scarce environment.

Shannon Kachel, University of Washington PhD student leading Panthera’s snow leopard collaring project in Kyrgyzstan elaborated on this partnership, stating “The HemaSpot system helps us simplify the entire snow leopard capture and handling process – a huge advantage in the challenging field conditions that we are confronted with.” Kachel explained,  “With just a few drops of blood, HemaSpot allows us to collect the samples we need while keeping our entire focus on the animal’s health and safety. It’s better for us and better for the animals.”

 

 

While traditional DBS is a multi-step process, Spot On Sciences has developed a system using HemaSpot that simplifies sampling and storage of blood samples.  The device also ensures sample stability and quality analysis in the laboratory.

 

Rana Bayrakcismith, Panthera’s Snow Leopard Program Manager added, “We use HemaSpot cartridges to collect blood samples for later DNA analysis to determine relatedness between individual cats.” Bayrakcismith continued,  “HemaSpot cartridges have really simplified our team’s logistics around blood sample collection, storage, and transport. We no longer have to worry about importing reagent fluids into other countries since the necessary liquids are not always readily available. The lightweight, easily transportable cartridges are much easier for traveling on airplanes, through customs, and in a backpack to the snow leopard capture location. And we certainly don’t have to worry about bottles leaking during travel.”

 

Panthera researchers have also announced that HemaSpot will continue to be used in snow leopard blood sampling when they return to Kyrgyzstan in spring 2016.  As the saying goes, a leopard can’t change its spots and through the help of technologies like HemaSpot, conservation efforts have a better chance at keeping these endangered animals and their spots around for future generations.

 

About Panthera

Panthera, founded in 2006, is devoted exclusively to the conservation of wild cats and their landscapes, which sustain people and biodiversity. Panthera’s team of preeminent cat biologists develop and implement science-based conservation strategies for cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, lions, pumas, snow leopards and tigers. Representing the most comprehensive effort of its kind, Panthera works in partnership with NGOs, scientific institutions, communities, corporations and governments to create effective, replicable models that are saving wild cats around the globe. For more information, visit Panthera.org.

 

Panthera’s Snow Leopard Program in the Kyrgyz Republic

Panthera began working in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2014 in the framework of the Kaiberen project with the establishment of three community-based conservancies in the Alai Valley of the Osh Province. Community-based conservancies aim to empower local people by utilizing their important traditional knowledge of their lands to manage their natural resources in a sustainable manner. With training from Panthera staff, conservancy members are learning to monitor snow leopard and prey populations through camera trapping and surveys.  Panthera is also establishing an anti-poaching network through these conservancies to discourage poaching and provide a metric for anthropogenic threats to the cat in this region, among other innovative strategies to conserve snow leopards.

 

About Spot On Sciences

Spot On Sciences, Inc., located in Austin, Texas, is a medical device company that is actively developing innovative methods for collecting and storing biological fluid samples. The company’s current product, HemaSpot™, allows for simplified blood sample collection and storage for dried blood spot (DBS) testing. Spot On Sciences aspires to change existing paradigms in this mature market with technologies that simplify processes, save time and reduce costs. The company has been recognized with many awards including the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award (2011), SXSW Interactive Accelerator (2013), RISE Global Pitch Competition (2013), 1776 Challenge Cup– Health category (2014), the Astia/WeOwnIt Venture Competition (2014) and named North America champion in the Kauffman Foundation’s Global Pitch Competition (2014). For more information visit the company’s website at SpotOnSciences.com.

 

Forward-Looking Statements

To the extent any statements made in this release contain information that is not historical, these statements are essentially forward-looking and are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the difficulty of predicting FDA approvals, the impact of competitive products and pricing, new product development and launch, reliance on key strategic alliances, availability of raw materials, availability of additional intellectual property rights, availability of future financing sources, the regulatory environment and other risks the Company may identify from time to time in the future.

Press Contacts
Sue Leininger
Spot On Sciences
512-827-9627
sueleininger@spotonsciences.com