Problem solving is one of our greatest strengths. Our approach and tenacity in tackling problems (often problems that others have given up on) has paid off consistently.
When someone presents us with a challenge, we establish a project plan based on the following:
- Listening. We start by listening to everyone involved in the project, past and present, to make sure we learn from previous experiences and mistakes. And we rarely take dogma as fact.
- Confidence without arrogance. We believe in our team and in our ability to tackle and solve any problem we face.
- Knowing when to seek help. We don’t know everything. Nobody does. But we do know whom to ask: our network of experts is essential to underpinning radical and progressive ideas – particularly outside our immediate knowledge base.
Unfortunately most of our success stories are confidential or subject to patent filings, but there are a few projects we can talk about.
… One of our mottos is “never give in” …
One of our mottos is ‘never give in’. Long after the initial funding for this project ran out, our scientists kept researching and our partners kept supporting us. Nine years in all (with the extra time funded by Mologic for a very good cause). There were endless hurdles, or so it seemed at the time:
- Clinical sample complexity
- Assay performance specification demands
- Reagent and sample supply
But, true to our motto, we didn’t give up. In fact, we exceeded the initial requirements, achieving the following:
- Binding all fragments and isoforms:
We created a unique antibody that exclusively binds a conserved free epitope.
- Low-concentration detection:
We developed an ultra-sensitive assay format using an enzyme-driven fluorescent reporter.
- Single-site assay:
We created a novel, non-radioactive recombinant competitive reagent (standard).
- Reduced assay time:
Using in-house tag technology and the high-affinity antibody, our team reduced an overnight assay to just three hours.
- Clinical sample matrix interference:
Specific diluents normalise results.
Our partners at Ninewells Hospital Immunodiagnostics Group have been instrumental in the development and we’ll be honest it may not have been achieved without them! Thank you.
If you’d like to know more about our hCG oncology project or have something similar to solve, get in touch. We’d love to tell you more.
Chromogenic Protease Booklet Device
It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s true: necessity is the mother of invention. Early iterations of our protease detection technology used DMAC and BANA as the workhorses. It appeared that they were limited to laboratory conditions and that encouraged us to explore current techniques and see if we could come up with something better.
The current technology was lengthy and complex, limiting its use to laboratories rather than the real world:
- Fresh reagents.
- Incubation at elevated temperatures or for longer periods of time.
- Spectrophotometer read-outs (not very portable).
- A multi-step procedure.
Our scientists took the problem and created thin-film technology with a simplicity that carried it out of the laboratory and into public life:
- Outstanding stability performance: it lasts for years at room temperature.
- Rapid reactions with samples: it works in minutes.
- A simple three-step format.
- Clear by-eye or by-reader measurement in a booklet-style device: no need for laboratory equipment (US8361386 and family).
We’re really proud of this innovation. Its principles are still active and a recent project delivered practical solutions for a by-eye read device that detects enzyme activity in an important clinical condition for the developing world.
If you’d like to know more about this ongoing project, give us a call. We’ll happily tell you all about it in confidence.
… Mologic’s scientists look at the bigger picture, and this is the perfect example of how it helps us to solve ‘impossible’ problems …
Mologic’s scientists look at the bigger picture and this is the perfect example of how it helps us to solve ‘impossible’ problems. By the time we got interested in chronic wound diagnostics the market had been active for at least a decade but hadn’t produced anything close to a point-of-care diagnostic.
All the previous attempts had tried to identify a single marker of healing or infection – but the complexity of a chronic wound means that’s just not possible.
… We took a different approach. We looked at the bigger picture and started by listening to key opinion leaders …
Then we researched the clinical condition responsible for the majority of wounds. The message was clear: keep it simple.
We discovered that an imbalance (elevated) in protease activity was a generic ‘indicator’ of a failure to heal. Therapeutic interventions did exist on the market but the ‘indicator’ couldn’t be measured outside a laboratory, so no-one really knew when to use them. This was the ideal place for us to start.
… The challenge: to develop a true point-of-care diagnostic that could measure protease activity and complete the process at the bedside. This was uncharted territory …
We started with a slightly modified pregnancy test and quickly moved on to designing a tailored enzyme substrate. Our substrate increased sensitivity and directed the test’s specificity towards certain protease enzymes produced by the patient (not protease enzymes produced by microbes).
A new assay was born. We combined it with a modification to traditional lateral flow format, and then tested it in a series of targeted clinical evaluations against expert opinion.
The results: our diagnostic worked with more than 80% accuracy with clinical opinion, delivering against specification. At this point, it was a cassette-based product with a separate sample digestion step. Our final task was to convert it into a single unitised device that is currently being manufactured.
That device format was the modified version of the BinaxNow Card and is in production.
It’s a really complex subject, and we can’t do it justice in the space available here. Give us a call and we’ll tell you more. We love talking science.
We’ve given you a very brief overview of these three projects, but there is an enormous amount of detail behind them. We’d be delighted to discuss them with you, so please get in touch. And if you’ve got an ‘impossible’ problem of your own, we’d love to solve it for you: undaunted we continue, seeking enjoyment from each venture.