GBS, a life sciences company, has been awarded $6.3 million under the federal government’s Medical Products Priority Grants to build a Biosensor manufacturing facility.
GBS develops non-invasive, real-time diagnostic testing for patients and their primary health practitioners at point-of-care. The new facility will enable the scaled production of Printable Organic Electronic Biosensor technology for the APAC region.
GBS’s flagship product, the Saliva Glucose Biosensor (SGB), is the first innovation to be developed from the Biosensor Platform. It is currently being developed as a point-of-care test, intended to provide people living with diabetes a non-invasive solution to finger-prick blood glucose testing.
This alternative test will offer a pain-free option to current testing methods, using an Organic Thin-Film Transistor (OTFT) that produces glucose measurements in real-time, on an app or dedicated device, for over 460 million people living with diabetes worldwide.
The company also plans to commercialise a SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Biosensor rapid point-of-care diagnostic test, to monitor exposure and immunity levels in real time in the fight against COVID-19.
The SARS-CoV-2 Biosensor is being developed in collaboration with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. This Biosensor will be integrated with the Institute’s eRapid electrochemical sensor technology. It will enable simultaneous electrochemical sensing of multiple biomarkers related to SARS-CoV-2 infection, for point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic applications.
The eRapid technology was developed by a team led by Wyss founding director Donald Ingber and Wyss senior staff scientist Pawan Jolly, as a low-cost, affinity-based electrochemical sensing platform. It can detect and quantify a broad range of biomarkers, with both high sensitivity and specificity, in a small amount of saliva or blood.
GBS expects the manufacturing facility will have capacity to produce an annual supply of 100 million biosensor units.
Following the successful commercialisation of the SGB, it will be tailored to other point-of-care applications including diagnosis and management of cancer, infectious disease and allergies.
GBS’s technology was invented in Australian, after 20 years of research and development by Professor Paul Dastoor and his team at the University of Newcastle’s Centre for Organic Electronics. Dastoor is a global leader in Organic Electronics Sensor Printing, which uses conventional roll-to-roll printing technology to produce low-cost medical diagnostics.
“Our entire business model is all about translation of discovery into a product that fills an unmet medical need,” The iQ Group Global group chief executive officer Dr George Syrmalis said.
“Creating a dedicated high tech manufacturing facility to commence production for our Glucose Biosensor will benefit the local society by creating jobs, but most importantly the patients afflicted with diabetes, who have up till now had to finger-prick multiple times a day in order to monitor their glucose levels.
“This grant could not have come at a more appropriate time as we prepare for clinical testing.”
“We are pleased with this significant grant as it allows us not only to further advance our technology but also to continue developing future point-of-care diagnostic tests,” GBS chief executive officer Harry Simeonidis said.
“The new high-tech medical device facility will support local jobs in Australia and allow GBS to manufacture medical diagnostic tests for Australia and Asia.”