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COVID-19: Stream Bio and MIP Diagnostics Working on Rapid Diagnostic and Mass Screening Test

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Stream Bio, a company that develops and manufactures a range of bioimaging molecular probes, has announced a new joint venture with MIP Diagnostics Ltd., a company that develops molecular imprinting for diagnostic and other applications. The collaborative project will focus on the development of a COVID-19 (or SARS-Cov-2) antigen reagent for assays, a lateral flow Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) and an “ELISA” type assay for high throughput screening (HTS) or mass testing.   

The unique properties of both Stream’s and MIP’s novel technologies are intended to allow for fast development of an extremely sensitive, and stable detection platform for the virus. The lateral flow project aims to reduce the diagnosis time to just 10 minutes, while the ELISA assay would enable a different detection system common in nearly all labs to be utilized alongside PCR, dramatically increasing capability. 

With current PCR-based methods, it can take over a day to receive and act on lab results. The proposed point-of-care lateral flow technology (LFT) could reduce this by more than 140 times and once validated, be deployed anywhere for “on-the-spot” screening, for use by first responders on scene to transit hubs and airports.  The resulting LFT strip can easily be mass-produced.   

In this consortium, Stream Bio’s Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles (CPNs) will combine their capabilities for temperature stability, intense fluorescence and magnetism, with the versatile, stable molecular imprinted polymers (nanoMIPs) or synthetic “plastic antibodies” from MIP Diagnostics Ltd.. The proprietary nanoMiPs work in the same way as conventional antibodies by targeting and latching onto a specific “binding site” of the virus, the “spike”, but without the significant development timeline or immunogenic requirement.   

Andy Chaloner, Founding Director and CEO of Stream Bio, commented “I am extremely excited by the possibilities of the combination of our two technologies, and the novel angle we can bring to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. CPNs have previously shown great capabilities in diagnostics, and implementing them in this collaboration is a huge milestone for Stream Bio.”   

“This is another great opportunity for nanoMIPs to make a significant impact on diagnostics development by leveraging the fast turnaround, high robustness and sensitivity benefits of MIPs with CPNs” said Stephane Argivier, Interim CEO, MIP Diagnostics Ltd., “and we are pleased to be working with another innovative platform on this collaboration to make a significant impact on the current worldwide need for rapid test development to COVID-19 diagnosis and monitoring.”