Company Story

BioTX Automation was founded in 2003, by James Frost who began his career in 1985, working as a lab technician for Baylor College of Medicine. His boss at the time, tasked him with a tricky problem: how to make thousands of synthetic oligonucleotides (DNA) in record time, inexpensively. His boss needed the DNA for his research. So they invented a machine that could make synthetic DNA faster and cheaper than anyone else. Out of that patented invention came Genosys, co-founded by James and Ken. Genosys grew from a company run out of a small closet at Baylor into a multimillion dollar entity that was sold to Sigma Aldrich in 1998. While at Genosys, James encountered numerous challenges in engineering, chemistry, automation, and software & database development. He has brought those accumulated talents and developed skills to BioTX Automation, where he looks for significant unmet challenges and opportunities in the life science and forensic arena. And he has brought along former employees from Genosys as well as engineering students and very talented high school interns to take ideas and turn them into useful products.

Since 2003, BioTX Automation has introduced a number of products as well as deploying its skills for a multitude of custom design and manufacturing projects. BioTX product areas include:

TED: Trace Evidence Collection and Touch DNA Collection
In 2010, BioTX launched T.E.D. (Trace/Touch Evidence Device). This revolutionary patent-pending collection device allows the Crime Scene Investigator to collect touch DNA and trace evidence directly into a lab-ready vial. This process eliminates many of the time-consuming and evidence-losing steps of more traditional collection processes. At the lab, the evidence is lab-ready, allowing the analyst to analyze the evidence more quickly and accurately than previous methods.

WellAware: Intelligent semi-automated Light Guided Pipet Navigation Systems
BioTX introduced WellAware in 2005. WellAware is a light and voice-guided pipetting system to guide the analyst to place the right sample in the right well every single time. It’s an ideal companion for the lab, whose pipetting challenges are complex. Much like a car navigation system, WellAware helps the lab analyst navigate the right samples, reagents or items into the correct wells of a microplate. Just how successful is WellAware? At a trade show in 2007, BioTX held a pipetting contest asking participants to test WellAware against their manual method. The result? Not only were they able to pipette on average 33% faster, but the error rate dropped by 78%.

Custom Design and Engineering: Custom robotic and instrument development
BioTX employs its Rapid Automation Development System (RADS) to rapidly develop automation production prototypes for its own product development as well as for our client’s custom engineering projects. BioTX has used RADS to create robotic blood-card punching machines and a bacterial plating robot using Petri dishes. BioTX has also taken on other custom projects. One of the more exciting: helping to set up the new DNA core facility at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, the first coed facility in Saudi Arabia.

USGRD/MySciPI: Customizable database of U.S. government life science grants for scientists or marketers
USGRD (U.S. Grant & Researcher Database) is a database of life scientists (introduced 2004) who have received a federal grant within the last two years and is a useful tool for life science sales and marketing managers, who use it to identify sales opportunities by application geography. MySciPI is the same database, configured differently, for life science researchers who desire to know who and what applications are receiving grant funding.

In short, BioTX is dedicated to making products that will make life easier:

  • for the forensic crime scene investigators and the forensic lab analysts, TED makes the collection and analysis of touch and trace evidence faster, easier and more accurate;
  • for the life science and forensic lab analyst, WellAware helps insure fast, accurate, and traceable manual pipetting every time;
  • for the lab, BioTX can customize robotic applications in your lab;
  • for the marketing and sales team selling into life science labs, the USGRD gives thousands of leads from an easy-to-use database.


What can we say about ourselves?

  • We’re primarily inventors. It’s in our genes and it’s what we do best. We’re problem solvers and we’re passionate about it, especially when we can wrap a product around solving the problem. So, we like to hear your problems and your needs and maybe we can invent something to help you. And yes, we will sell and market our products with enthusiasm but inventing is our passion. It’s what floats our boat.
  • We are stewards of our investors trust and their financial investment in us. We treat them with the same respect we offer our customers and our employees. With all three they can expect candor, integrity, and fairness. Each is key to our success and we recognize that every day.
  • We endeavor to support our local community and leave it a better place for our presence. At BioTX, each summer for the past eight years we have brought in summer interns from the local high school to train them in technology and to assist us in our development/invention efforts. They’re not sweeping floors and picking up the trash, they are inventing! And they’re good, very good and we’re proud of what they do here and what they do once they move on to college and beyond.
  • We’re serious about what we do at BioTX and when you interact with us you can sense our earnestness. We don’t lack for a sense of humor but we’re not a facetious, ironic, sarcastic group. We’re straight forward, direct, and no nonsense. It’s in our blood.