RUSNANO (Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies), a regular visitor to my postings, has just signed a deal with French company, Magnisense SE (why do I keep wanting to call it (en français) Magnificence?), for a three year development deal. From the Feb. 6, 2012 news item on Nanowerk,
RUSNANO and Magnisense today announced that they have finalized details for investment in Magnisense SE, a French developer of the next generation of in vitro bioassays for diagnostic testing in healthcare, veterinary medicine, food safety, and environmental protection. RUSNANO will invest up to €28.5 million over a three-year period in the joint project whose total cost is put at €44.3 million. The remaining co-investment will come from Magnisense’s existing and new shareholders.
The new project will manufacture in Russia an advanced diagnostic system based on Magnisense’s proprietary technology MIAtek®—a magnetic immunoassay in which nanosized magnetic beads are attached to an antibody that selectively binds target molecules, micro-organisms, or other antibodies in test media.
I gather not all of the products that are going to be manufactured in Russia will be point-of-care diagnostic devices but all of them will be based on the Magnisense technology,
Magnisense will establish a Russian subsidiary to produce two product lines:
· MIAstrip®: point-of-care testing strips that identify a target by detecting known markers for a number of conditions—cardiac arrest, bacterial infections including tetanus, viral infections such as avian flu, and parasitic and fungal infections;
· MIAflo®: disposable cartridges that detect and quantify such targets as bacterial contaminants in food (e.g., Listeria and Salmonella) or water (e.g., Legionella). Magnisense’s Russian manufacturing facility is expected to open in 2015 with production capacity of 3.5 million test media. The media will be sold domestically and exported, primarily to Europe, the US, and Japan.
In the future, Magnisense intends to increase production in Russia and to focus on the professional segment of the decentralized diagnostic testing market generally known as point-of-care (POC). It will expand into the CIS, Europe, the US, Japan, and China. POC diagnostics—tests performed in medical environments, the workplace, and at home—have become the driving force in the world’s healthcare market. According to Kalorama Information, a market research company specializing in healthcare and related areas, decentralized diagnostics is the fastest growing segment in healthcare. And the professional POC market, already $5.2 billion in 2009, is estimated to be growing at an annual rate of 6 percent with its rate of growth accelerating.
For anyone interested in magnetic immunoassay Magnisense has devoted a webpage to the technology they have developed,
Magnetic immunoassay was developed for the rapid and sensitive detection of proteins, viruses or bacteria in biological or food samples. The system incorporates the use of coated magnetic beads as labels in lateral flow (MIAstrip®) or flow through (MIAflo®) or chip (MIAchip®) formats.
The technology is versatile. It is compatible with multiple assays and uses standard liquid handling robots installed in many clinical labs worldwide.
The robots are designed to deliver reagents via removable tips to carry out ELISA on multi-well plates. As opposed to standard applications, the MIAflo® is realized on the 3D filters inside the tips, and the plate is used to hold the reagents. MIAflo® provides more sensitive and faster results compared to ELISA due to the absence of kinetic limitations and immunofiltration of the antigens on a large immune-active surface. In addition, MIAflo® successfully works even with the whole blood of patients, decreasing the sample preparation time.
I’m not all that interested in pursuing the differences between this technique and ELISA (you can read more about ELISA in this Wikipedia essay) but what does interest me is this worldwide competition to develop point-of-care diagnostics.