A trio of cutting-edge companies have announced a global collaboration that will enable nearly instant medical test results, bypassing traditional biological laboratories and forwarding critical data to doctors, hospitals, and appropriate health agencies.
“From COVID-19 to leukemia, patients and clinicians need fast and accurate diagnoses,” said Lonnie Adelman, CEO and founder of one of the companies, San Diego’s iAssay. “This collaboration will revolutionize how scientific and medical data is produced, collected, and shared.”
In fact, the techniques pioneered by these three companies – iAssay of San Diego, Calif.; GattaCo of Murrieta, Calif.; and Taiwan’s Helios Bioelectronics – can be used by engineers as well as medical professionals. Besides medical and scientific applications, soil or water samples, for instance, could be tested for toxins, minerals or other materials.
Each of the companies brings its unique strengths to this endeavor.
“By using many strands,” said Dr. Hardy Chan, CEO of Helios, “we are weaving a stronger rope.”
The Three Weavers
Helios Bioelectronics is the developer of a multi-patented electrochemical chip, the FET Chip, which identifies targeted elements such as viral proteins or nucleic acids that can be used to identify specific diseases such as COVID-19. Sometimes called “lab on a chip,” this nanotechnology enables a vast amount of information to be gathered through assays processed at the point-of-care that would otherwise rely on detection via remote biological laboratories.
Using its patented sample purification technology, GattaCo has developed a plasma separation tool, the A-PON. The A-PON automatically separates plasma from whole blood collected from a finger-stick without needing a centrifuge. GattaCo is developing a blood analysis cartridge system that integrates its sample purification technology together with Helios Bioelectronics’ FET Chip. This cartridge will be read by iAssay’s SimpleTest base technology with an adaptor specifically developed for the Helios/GattaCo cartridge.
Together the system will enable sensitive, accurate, and precise detection, reducing false positives and negatives.
iAssay’s patented SimpleTest automatically interprets test and control indications on a variety of tests incubated with samples from patient blood and urine, and potentially other nonmedical analytes. After SimpleTest produces a test result, the device transmits the results to the company’s SimpleCloud hosted by Amazon AWS, where results can compliantly be viewed in a password-protected portal by doctors, hospitals, appropriate state and federal agencies, scientists for research purposes, and for non-medical applications.
“This partnership has the potential of saving time, yes, but also saving lives,” said Michael McNeely, PhD, president of GattaCo. “Knowledge is power, and the sooner patients and their doctors understand what they are dealing with, the sooner they can seek the correct treatment.”