Aberystwyth University spinout company to develop diagnostic tests for human and animal diseases

An innovative collaboration be­­­­tween scientists at Aberystwyth University and industry could lead to a breakthrough in the early detection o­­­­f chronic diseases in humans and animals.

Aberystwyth University reports researchers at its Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) are working on new diagnostic technologies which could save the lives of thousands of people.

Using biomarker “fingerprinting”, they have been able to accurately pinpoint the presence or absence of a disease and its impact on the patient or animal.

The research has focused on developing clinically useful biomarker identification and testing for major chronic diseases that impact on an ageing human population. A parallel strand of work has targeted important animal diseases.

With Aberystwyth University as a shareholder, a spinout company called i-Omics Limited has been set up to take the research to the wider public by creating diagnostic testing systems and technologies.

The work will include developing a novel point of care diagnostic system, which will enable patient-clinician interaction and diagnosis without the need for clinical face to face consultations, thereby reducing the need for valuable hospital appointments and the risk to patients.

Professor Luis Mur, who is leading the research within IBERS, said “This enterprise helps move science out of the lab and into the hands of clinical practitioners. We will be developing diagnostic kits to enable the rapid and accurate diagnosis of chronic respiratory disease as well as informing personalised treatment plans for patients.”

The development is an example of the commercialisation opportunities of research arising from KESS II scholarships at Aberystwyth University, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).

Dr David Rooke, founder and executive officer of i-Omics Limited, said “This exciting opportunity has been made possible by the world class and state-of-the-art omics research carried out by Professor Mur’s team at IBERS as well as very high quality research and innovation enabled through collaborative research projects sponsored by the commercial partners and supported by European Social Funds (ESF) through the Welsh Government’s scholarship scheme. It also brings together a founder team of successful small companies in the field of diagnostic technologies and systems.”

The expertise of i-Omics Limited is encapsulated by its founding team which includes Professor Luis Mur Director of Research, Biology and Health at IBERS, David Rooke, Ian Bond, CEO of Bond Digital Health, Professor Keir Lewis, a respiratory consultant at Hywel Dda University Health Board, Darren Rowles, and Clarity BioSolutions based at Porton Down.

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