MIP Discovery – a company focused on detection reagents – has received a significant grant of funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Incorporating the company’s proprietary nanoMIP technology, the project will use MIP Discovery’s animal/cell free detection reagents as an alternative, and possible improvement over antibodies. This will subsequently quickly enable high-volume, low-cost diagnostic tests throughout low and middle-income countries.

This process will be especially useful during the kind of endemic or pandemic outbreaks witnessed in recent times. Indeed, dispersing of effective diagnostic testing is essential to managing disease outbreaks at regional or global levels. The challenge is being able to develop diagnostics rapidly – ones that can also be upscaled in a brief period of time for widespread use.

With this in mind, MIP Discovery’s imprinted polymer technology is able to meet this requirement for speed and scale, and the company is currently optimising processes that will be significantly faster than novel antibody production.

Meanwhile, MIP Discovery is keen to reduce current timelines to allow design and scale up of novel detection reagents in under four weeks. If this milestone is achieved, nanoMIP detection reagents can then be deployed using high throughput diagnostic platforms or lateral flow devices.

Stephane Argivier, chief executive officer, MIP Discovery, believes the project can be successful: “COVID-19 taught the world the importance of pandemic preparedness, particularly the importance of effective deployment of diagnostic testing.

“We are proud to be aligned with the foundation and other partners such as Flexotronix, a Sapphiros company, in developing new approaches to delivering diagnostic disease testing on a global basis. Our proprietary nanoMIP technology will redefine how the world will respond to endemic and pandemic crises, whether natural or otherwise.”

Mike Evans, chairman, MIP Discovery. “Pandemics are very much global events which require rapid global responses. This programme, driven by the foundation funding is a key step in the development of high volume, cost-effective IVD tools that provide a rapidly scalable solution to sudden demand for any infectious disease crisis, whether these are known conditions such as Ebola or emerging viruses similar to recent strains of COVID-19.”