Life expectancy rates following the diagnosis of cancer could soon be significantly improved through early detection if biotech company Universal Biosensors (ASX: UBI) is successful in their newest research collaboration aiming to instantly identify cancer cells from a simple finger prick.
The research project will be part of an exclusive collaboration between Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials (DIFM), Swinburne University and Universal Biosensors to commercialise the Tn Antigen (Tn) biosensor used for the detection, staging and monitoring of cancer.
“DIFM and Swinburne have been working on the next generation of electrochemical biosensors and the Tn Antigen cancer biomarker for more than 5 years,” said Universal Biosensors CEO, John Sharman.
“Using UBI’s platform technology we plan to deliver a cancer biosensor capable of identifying, staging and monitoring cancer from a finger prick of blood, using a portable hand held device.
“The knowledge and resources of DIFM and Swinburne will help deliver this as well as fast track the development of other biosensors we are working on”
The 5-year agreement will bring together Senior Fellow Dr. Wren Green from Deakin and Dr Saimon Moraes Silva from Swinburne to lead the research. Their time spent on the project will be covered by Universal Biosensors, which will contribute up to $300,000 annually.
A manufacturer of biosensor technology, UBI already has a number of products in the market which offer similar technology. Many of these products utilise electrochemical strips which can be inserted into a portable device which then processes the materials and offers a reading. These electrochemical strips are actively used in the wine-making industry for quality control and the healthcare industry for coagulation analysis.
Despite Universal Biosensors reporting a 54% decline in revenue for CY2020 to $3.2 million with a net loss of $7.6 million, UBI shares have performed very well to have risen 250% over the past 12 months.