Coris BioConcept (Gembloux, Belgium), a SME specialized in the development of diagnostic kits, has recently signed a partnership with Covaris (Massachusetts, USA), and is investing €100K alongside a DG06 grant of €150K in combined funding from the Walloon region. The initiative behind this partnership is to develop an integrated technological platform that will allow for the creation of a fast multiplex molecular diagnostic.
Belgium-based company Coris BioConcept develops products essentially aimed at enteric and respiratory diseases as well as detection tests for pharmaceutical molecules in urine and identification of certain biomarkers. Over the past three years, by means of the Walloon Region, the competitiveness cluster BioWin and European FP7 programs, the company has been developing a new technological platform which will allow for the realization of multiplex tests, in particular for the identification of bacteria and their resistance factors in antibiotics. The goal of developing such new diagnostic approaches for diseases, sepsis for example, could have a significant impact on the serious infections affecting millions of patients worldwide.
A unique opportunity leads to American partnership
Coris Bioconcept’s opportunity to work in a development program with a company from the US was introduced by BioWin with the cooperation of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) within the framework of a call for projects for the International Collaborative Industry Program (ICIP). However, the platform developed by Coris BioConcept, although unique in its conception, inevitably had to come from “prepared” samples. Henceforth, Covaris, a company specialized in the development and production of instruments for the pre-analytical preparation of samples, as well as for university diagnostic laboratories and biotechnology companies, answered to this need by providing the sample preparations necessary for this platform. It is this unique opportunity that convinced Coris BioConcept that Covaris was the best suited to answer to this technological problem for which there was no valid proposal in Europe, and not surprisingly, submit its project to the program.
Microfluidic diagnostic using ultrasonic lysis
Covaris has developed a very successful technology that allows the mechanical lysis of biological structures such as bacteria. This technology calls for an acoustic process using ultrasounds precisely aimed at a specific target. The technology hinges the “pre-analytical” part of the diagnostic process with a technology that will permit Coris BioConcept to deliver a diagnostic process “from sample to result”. The integration of Covaris’ technology on the platform of Coris BioConcept will provide laboratories access to a versatile, complex and robust instrument. For Coris BioConcept, access to this technology opens doors not only to the reference laboratories but also to the relocated laboratories, which generally do not have the means to purchase otherwise expensive and complex instruments.
From innovation, to partnership and investments
The financial support and funding behind this international partnership for the development of an innovative diagnostic process has been threefold. The partnership has received a grant of $160K from the MLSC, €150K in combined funding from the Walloon region, BioWin and the European FP7 program as well as a €100K investment from Coris BioConcept.
Thierry Leclipteux, CEO of Coris BioConcept: “The collaboration with Covaris will allow Coris BioConcept to bring to the market an integrated technological platform able to realize a fast multiplex molecular diagnostic. The integration of Covaris’ technology with that of Coris BioConcept, takes place within the framework of the BioWin R&D projects and will significantly reduce all handling processes to ensure that the “sample to result” protocol will take less than 60 minutes”.
The proposed collaboration will develop dry ultrasonic preparation methods in parallel with rapid DNA based analysis of blood samples, initially from sepsis patients. Ultimately, Coris BioConcept and Covaris would like to combine ultrasonic lysis technology with a microfluidic diagnostic platform in order to produce an integrated, innovative in vitro diagnostics solution to bring to the market.
Through innovation and partnering comes yet another great BioWin Success Story!
CEO of Coris Bioconcept
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