Lucy Burns, Owner of Cicadea Biotech LLC


Cicadea Biotech, Improving Food Safety, Animal, Plant and Human Health

Cicadea Biotech, a unique business located at the Helix Business Incubator

Lucy Burns, Founder and CEO of Cicadea Biotech, LLC shares information about her business. Photo credit: Cicadea Biotech, LLC 

Lucy Burns is the Founder and CEO of Cicadea Biotech, LLC, a company focused on improving food safety, and animal and human health operating out of the Helix Business Incubator.

Burns’ decision to choose the Helix Business Incubator for the location of her business was heavily influenced by its location. The center is located near the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and other small biotech companies located at BRDG Park. “Location and proximity to like-minded entrepreneurs influenced my decision. The lab location at the Helix Business Incubator makes it very convenient for us to interact with local clients and serve them with a short turn around time,” said Burns.

Lab space used by Cicadea Biotech, LLC at the Helix Center Photo credit: Cicadea Biotech, LLC


Currently Cicadea Biotech is focused on detecting genes and microorganisms with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. The company is also working on developing products for human and plant pathogen detection. “The motto is to help find genes and bacteria, fast and accurately.” said Burns.

Burns has nearly 30 years of expertise in her field.  She is an accomplished scientist and proficient in areas such as plant pathology, molecular biology and diagnostics. Burns started her business from her passion to improve environmental health as well as animal and human health. The name of the business also has an exclusive meaning. “Cicadea is derived  from “cicada” and is pronounced as “Zhiliao” in Chinese. In English, this translates to “I understand or I got it,”said Burns.

Burns also described how her business stands out from others. “We develop customized real time PCR assays for gene detection and identification. These types of quality services more often are found in large companies and are difficult to obtain for smaller companies on a contracting basis,” said Burns. “In addition, our in-house expertise to enable high-throughput DNA extraction, customer PCR design services and microbial detection are all unique services for our customers.”

Cicadea Biotech, LLC pathogen detection kits Photo credit: Cicadea Biotech, LLC

Burns is enthusiastic for future plans for her company and has advice for anyone wanting to start a business in her field. “My advice is to follow your passion and understand the market needs. The market for molecular diagnostics includes PCR testing and is expected to exceed $12.5 billion in 2020,” said Burns. “Our future plan is to grow the business by providing testing services and by developing commercial products such as PCR-based pathogen detection kits. I am excited to further grow my business.”

For more information about Cicadea Biotech, LLC click here.