Name of leader and affiliation
Dr. Stuart Wilson, CSO, Microsens Medtech, 2 Royal College Street, London NW1 0NH, UK
Microsens is an SME based in the London Bioscience Innovation Centre. The Microsens managers have worked together since 2000 and in that time have successfully developed, patented and brought to market a number of diagnostic and detection technologies. One core technology, SeprionTM is a ligand-based method for the detection of protein aggregation diseases including Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease and Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease. SeprionTM-based kits are currently the market leaders for screening for BSE in Europe. Similar ligand technology is also being used for the monitoring of protein aggregates during the synthesis of therapeutic proteins. On the molecular biology front, the LiMA technology has been developed for the generic detection of bacteria through the detection of bacterial ligase enzyme. This technology can be used for the diagnosis of bacterial sepsis and platelet contamination.
As such, Microsens is well-positioned to work on TB. Over the past 3 years Microsens has been using the company’s proprietary ligand binding and detection technologies to develop sample preparation techniques for capture of TB from a range of biological samples including sputum, urine and homogenised tissue. The methods are based on the company’s proprietary expertise in binding Mycobacteria to the surfaces of magnetic beads. This method allows the TB to be extracted from sputum without centrifugation and using less harsh decontamination methods, which are less likely to damage the TB bacillus. The company now markets the TB-Beads range of products for sample preparation in the routine TB testing laboratory.
Dr Wilson was a pivotal figure in commercial development of the FastPlaque technology and building on this phage-based experience Microsens is in a unique position to use phage infection as a monitor for the viability state of the TB bacillus, in addition to a rapid phenotypic method for drug susceptibility and drug resistance testing.
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