Mologic awarded c.£1 million by UK government to develop rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19
- Grant awarded by the Wellcome Trust and DFID, as part of UK government’s £46 million international COVID-19 prevention and research package
- Test will support global efforts to prevent further spread of COVID-19 by enabling rapid diagnosis at the point-of-need
- Funding will also initiate Mologic’s research for novel vaccine candidates
Bedfordshire, UK, 6th March 2020: Mologic Ltd, a leading developer of lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies, today announced that it has been awarded circa £1 million by the Wellcome Trust and the Department for International Development (DFID), as part of the UK government’s £46 million international coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention and research funding package. The funding will be used by Mologic and global partners, to develop a point-of-need diagnostic test for the virus, in addition to supporting the Company to initiate research for novel vaccine candidates.
Mologic will build on their experience developing a rapid test kit for Ebola, which was also jointly funded by UK aid and the Wellcome Trust, to create a new hand-held diagnostics device to detect COVID-19. This will allow health officials to test for the virus at home or in the community, providing results in 10 minutes, without the need for electricity or a laboratory. Rapid identification of the virus enables quicker quarantine and access to care, to support global efforts in preventing further spread - especially in vulnerable countries that have limited specialist facilities. Alongside their work on diagnostics, UK aid is also supporting Mologic in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate for further evaluation.
The company is working in close partnership with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar to validate and manufacture the COVID-19 test at a new manufacturing site, DiaTropix, in Senegal. This will be the first time that a diagnostics kit created in the UK will be jointly manufactured in Africa, to ensure its immediate availability, to manage any potential outbreaks on the continent, and further international spread. Global validation partners include; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and St George’s, University of London in Europe; the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the University of Malaya in Asia; and for Latin America, Fiocruz.
Professor Paul Davis, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Mologic, commented: “As seen with the COVID-19 outbreak, viruses can quickly transmit between populations, however, our knowledge to tackle this threat has also grown exponentially. For rapid epidemic preparedness and response, we need to develop a platform that is readily modified according to a novel pathogen, as we are demonstrating through our accelerated programmes for Ebola and COVID-19.”
Dr Joe Fitchett, Medical Director, Mologic, said: “The COVID-19 outbreak is at a critical juncture, and to bring it to an end, we need next generation diagnostics for use at the point-of-need - at home or in the community, in limited and well-resourced settings. Rapid detection of the virus is important to stop its spread - we are pleased that the UK government has acknowledged this, supporting Mologic and the work of our partners to prevent further outbreaks internationally.”
Dr Amadou Sall, Director of Institut Pasteur de Dakar, said: “The COVID-19 epidemic highlights an unprecedented level of seeding of cases to vulnerable locations. We are proud of this partnership working with UK aid to support all countries to have responsive and resilient diagnostics to control COVID-19. With Mologic, we are already applying support from the UK government and Wellcome Trust to develop successful diagnostics tests to detect and combat the spread of Ebola, which is close to being controlled in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. DiaTropix’s remit is to responsively manufacture diagnostics for epidemics both for Africa and wherever they surface.”
To find out more about Mologic, please visit: https://mologic.co.uk/
Notes to Editors
Sarah Jeffery, Zyme Communications
+44 (0)7771 730919
About Mologic www.mologic.co.uk
Mologic is a leading developer of advanced lateral flow and rapid diagnostic technologies. Leveraging its core technology platforms, the Company works with global organisations, researchers and clinicians to help them deliver fast, reliable and accurate diagnosis at the point-of-care. Mologic’s founder, Professor Paul Davis, was the originator of the Clearblue pregnancy test that was launched in 1988 as the world’s first commercial application of lateral flow technology. The creativity, insight and knowledge that led to that ground-breaking invention has guided Mologic since its formation in 2003.
Mologic offers world-leading technology and scientific research expertise for contract research and development, alongside a portfolio of device and reagent products for clinical and commercial applications. The Company also helps organisations to scale-up manufacturing from initial prototyping through low to mid-scale production. Mologic’s science has broad application across markets and disease states where rapid, accurate point-of-care testing can help make a difference in patient care and patient outcomes.
Clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where Mologic is leveraging core technology through its Centre for Advanced Rapid Diagnostics (CARD) to develop the next-generation of ultra-sensitive point-of-care diagnostics which are easy to use and low cost to manufacture - critical to the success of many global health programmes.
The Company is actively seeking strategic partners for its internal pipeline of respiratory, infectious disease and women’s health diagnostics.
Mologic is headquartered in Bedford in the United Kingdom and has a US subsidiary in the greater Boston area, MA, USA.