Viraspec

A cost-effective & rapid
COVID-19 diagnostic test

Need

The current COVID-19 pandemic urgently requires a cost-effective diagnostic test to rapidly and reliably triage individuals into several key categories:

Infectious

Non-infectious

Contagious

Immunisation

Attention

Problem

Current rapid tests are too slow, not cost-effective, burdensome to use, have sensitivity and accuracy issues, and do not allow for the triage of individuals.

Company

We are bringing to market a novel rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19 that is faster, less expensive, easier to use, more reliable, more accurate, and able to triage risk groups and those needing immunisation.

Technology

Viraspec is developing a rapid Lateral Flow Immunoassay (LFIA) diagnostic test for COVID-19 made of two components: 1) a test device consisting of a blood collector and an indicator, and 2) a conjugate well. After collecting a fingerpick blood sample using the test device, the device is inserted into the conjugate well and the results are indicated on the test device. The test device will indicate if an individual is either infectious, non-infectious, contagious, requiring immunisation or needing immediate medical attention.

Viraspec’s technology has the following advantages over alternative technologies:

2x faster

Gives results in roughly 5 minutes

2-10x less expensive

Has a cost less than 10 Euro

Easier to use

Integrated design

More reliable

Eliminates any cross-contamination

More accurate

Offers high sensitivity

More useful results

Identifies high-risk patients

Digital platform

Ability to interpret and track results

Market

The LFIA market targeting infectious diseases is valued at over 2.5 Billion USD with a CAGR of close of 8%. This growth is being driven by:

  • a rise in health awareness and healthcare expenditure
  • growth in emerging markets and a need for low-cost, accurate and field friendly diagnostic alternatives
  • growth in the occurrence of infectious diseases and need to quickly identify high-risk patients

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, Viraspec will be focusing on bringing to market a test to meet this immediate need. In time, the company will develop and bring to market tests that address other new and existing infectious diseases (e.g. HIV, TB). Viraspec will initially target professional applications (hospitals and clinics (permanent and in-field) and home care), with the ambition to eventually target at-home applications.

Team

Mohamad Takwa, PhD, Advisor.
Mohamad has a PhD in biotechnology from KTH-Stockholm and has been involved in the establishment and early-stage of multiple successful biotech and life science companies. Mohamad spent more than 15 years researching enzyme production, catalysis and engineering. He has contributed to more than 10 publications & 3 patents and has worked at multiple renowned European research institutions. Mohamad combines his passion for science and innovation to help cutting edge biotech technologies from bench to the market.

Robert Porter, PhD, CEO
Robert has 28 years experience in the medical diagnostic arena. Experienced in Operations, Logistics, Manufacturing, Science, Engineering, Quality and Regulatory. Able to translate ideas from research concept to a fully registered product. Experienced of ISO13485:2016 In Vitro Device Regulation. Has led product development for CE, FDA and cFDA registration. Founded and grown 3 successful business. Instrumental in listing of Concepta Diagnostics Ltd. on AIM London Stock Exchange.

Selma Maric, PhD, Advisor
Selmas research has focused on development of methods for structure and dynamics studies of native and artificial lipo-protein based nanoparticles with a research background in both infectious and inflammatory disease. She has pioneered the development of the award-winning method for biotechnological deuteration of human phospholipids, currently used for structure determination of membrane proteins in ‘stealth nanodiscs’. Currently Selma works at MAX IV Laboratory in Lund and is an associated fellow at the Lund Institute of Advanced Neutron and X-ray Science (LINXS).

Sudha Srivastava, Prof, Advisor
Sudha is a leading expert in the field of nanoparticle-based biosensing. Sudha obtained her Ph.D in physical sciences in 2002 and has decades of scientific experience, with specific regard to developing diagnostic devices that are based on biosensing technology. Sudha has more than 30 scientific publications in biotechnology, of which nine on nanoparticle-based biosensing.

Kristofer Cook, M.Sc., MBA, Advisor
Krisofer has over 15 years of experience managing biotechnology start-up companies in the food-tech, clean tech and life-sciences areas. Kristofer holds a M.Sc. degree from LTH, Sweden and M.B.A. from Solvay Business School, Belgium. Kristofer is currently CEO of Carbiotix, an award-winning and pioneering microbiome healthcare company based in Lund, Sweden and listed on the Spotlight Stock Market.