Current anti-doping analysis relies on the use of chemical techniques to detect banned substances in the test samples of athletes. Whilst analytical chemistry is effective at detecting a range of known substances, it is unable to identify the foreign molecular architecture of the emerging range of designer androgens prevalent in the sports-doping arena and supplement industry.
FirstFlagX is the biological test developed by InsituGen to detect unknown androgens in the plasma of athletes or competing animals. Utilizing synthetic biology, the individual components of the androgen pathway are extracted from the cell and synthetically rebuilt in situ.
FirstFlagX requires a small amount of blood in the form of plasma or serum as a test sample, and its synthetic character alleviates the need for specialised equipment or personnel. FirstFlagX can detect a wide array of androgens, anabolic steroids, SARMs, and endogenous steroids. FirstFlagX is time-effective, able to screen samples in less than3 hours, and is high throughput, able to screen 80 concurrent samples . Standard laboratory equipment can be easily harnessed, and analysis is quick – easily interpreted on standard spreadsheet software.