The North East Innovation Lab has completed a successful trial of nanorobots which are being developed to diagnose deadly diseases at an early stage.
Newcastle-based cutting-edge biotech Nanovery has designed the system which can detect biomarkers directly in blood serum samples with a simple workflow, a process typically requiring multiple steps and taking many hours or even days.
With applications ranging from diagnosing liver or kidney issues to cancer, this system has the potential to significantly improve access to screening across a wide range of healthcare settings.
The trial looked to test the accuracy of the Nanovery technology by comparison to established methods at the North East Innovation Lab, part of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The NHS lab team of scientists analysed a biomarker linked to acute liver injury from extracted Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) samples. At the same time, Nanovery analysed the same samples using its technology.
The findings demonstrated that the Nanovery process achieved the same level of accuracy as the traditional methodology but additionally delivered results in a more cost-efficient and timely manner.
Dr Simon Rock, the principal scientist at the NHS North East Innovation Lab, said: “The results from the Nanovery trial were very positive and lay the foundations for this ground-breaking technology, which could one day transform the time and costs associated with the diagnosis of conditions such as cancer and liver disease.
“We look forward to working with Nanovery as their technology moves through to commercialisation.”
Founder of Nanovery, Jurek Kozyra, added, “The work we have done with the Newcastle team has proven the effectiveness of the technology we developed. We are grateful for their support during the testing phase. We now move to the next stage of validation and commercialisation.”
On Tuesday 11 April, the company said it has raised over £1.85 million of funding, including a £500,000 investment from the North East Innovation Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Northstar Ventures. Other investors include Prostate Cancer Research together with and investment of £250,000 from JR Holding ASI, and £305,000 from angel investors. On top of this investment Innovate UK awarded the company a grant of £750,000 to develop its disease screening activities.