NPL spin-out in deal with AstraZeneca
AgPlus Diagnostics, a spin-out from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), has signed a contract with AstraZeneca to develop a prototype diagnostic. The agreement will cover AgPlus Diagnostics developing a diagnostic assay for potential use as part of a personalised approach to treating respiratory disease.
AgPlus was established in 2011 to commercialise patented technology for an ultra-sensitive, quantitative, electrochemical immunoassay platform originally developed at NPL.
This novel platform has significant potential to improve and enhance diagnostic tests currently used in point-of-care and other resource-limited settings. It is targeted at satisfying market demands for diagnostic testing in human, veterinary and industrial sectors.
Keith Page, CEO of AgPlus Diagnostics, said: "This is a great new collaboration for AgPlus and recognises the strength of the AgPlus technology and the strength of healthcare development in the UK. AgPlus sees itself as a leading innovator in new technology for diagnostics and is proud to be associated with AstraZeneca, a global leader in biopharmaceuticals."
AgPlus' platform technology combines novel electrochemistry and metallic nanoparticles signalling with diagnostic immunoassays to provide high sensitivity and fully quantitative analyte detection. It is anticipated that the AgPlus ADVANTAGE™ handheld portable reader and single-use test cartridge may be utilised in primary care settings to assist physicians with treatment decisions.
If successful, the prototype device could potentially be developed into a commercial product to accompany AstraZeneca's respiratory product portfolio.
Ruth March, Vice-President and Head of AstraZeneca Personalised Healthcare & Biomarkers, said: "Through this partnership, we hope to make available a quick and innovative point-of-care diagnostic to respiratory patients through their physicians. If successful, this diagnostic could be used to measure several biomarkers, which would support our goal of matching patients with the right treatment using their individual biomarker profiles."
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Rainbow Seed Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on promising technologies developed at the UK's largest publicly-funded research facilities and campuses, recently announced its investment into AgPlus Diagnostics. Dr Andrew Muir, Investment Director for the Rainbow Seed Fund, said: "Fast, accurate and affordable measurement is critical to getting it right in the point-of-care market, so AgPlus' National Physical Laboratory origins are the perfect pedigree. Testament to this are the company's successful feasibility projects in a wide range of applications and the ongoing commercial engagement."
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