Nanoco Group plc (LON:NANO), a world leader in the development and manufacture of cadmium-free quantum dots and other nanomaterials emanating from its technology platform, has announced that it has secured grant funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, for a life sciences project to develop a heavy metal-free quantum dot testing kit for the accurate and rapid visual detection of SARSCoV-2 (“Covid-19”).
The project builds on Nanoco’s existing capabilities in utilising quantum dots conjugated with anti-bodies as a diagnostic tool in the detection of cancer (VIVODOTS® nanoparticles). The project will specifically focus on anti-bodies for Covid-19 but, if successful, the technology is expected to be applicable to other pathogens and potential future variants of Covid-19.
The project will last 18 months with stage gates contingent on the success of the R&D work. As part of the project, the company will explore opportunities to work with downstream partners for a potential delivery system for the test. The testing kit envisaged would potentially be self-administered with results produced in situ. The project will cost just under £1.0m to which the Innovate grant contributes 80% with the balance funded by Nanoco Group. After deducting incremental costs, the project is expected to have a neutral impact on the Group’s net cash flows in the short term. Any medium term value implications will be wholly contingent on the successful delivery of the targeted project outcomes.
Brian Tenner, Nanoco Group’s CEO, commented:
“The Innovate grant is a welcome recognition of the potential for Nanoco’s CFQD® Quantum Dots, configured as VIVODOTS® nanoparticles, to be used in bio-applications. The support from Innovate UK is critical to the continuation of our work in this area. While there is much to be done on the R&D phases of the project, it does create a potential third opportunity for future revenue, on top of the Group’s activities in Sensing and Display, whilst maintaining Nanoco’s cash runway.”