Iceni Diagnostics partners with University of Warwick on next generation SARS-Cov2 testing

Iceni Diagnostics, a specialist carbohydrate chemistry company based on Norwich Research Park has agreed an exclusive global licence to integrate key virus detection intellectual property (IP) developed by the University of Warwick, into its commercial diagnostics programmes.

Professor Rob Field, Iceni Diagnostics’ Chief Scientific Officer

Iceni Diagnostics has been using its Host-Pathogen Glycan Recognition (HPGRTM) technology to develop a unique portfolio of diagnostic tests for infectious diseases in both point-of-care and laboratory-based platforms. For over two years they have been working closely with Professor Matthew Gibson from the University of Warwick who has particular interest in the use of polymer chemistry to produce glycosylated sensors for the detection and investigation of infection.

A key focus of the collaboration has been the development of sensitive and specific point-of-care tests for rapid diagnosis of all variants of SARS-Cov2 infection. The work has delivered consistently encouraging results during research testing, and is being submitted for peer review imminently, ready for release this year.

Professor Rob Field, Iceni Diagnostics’ Chief Scientific Officer, explained: “Using sugars (glycans) as specific targets for infectious disease identification is a growing and very exciting new approach to diagnostics. The initial work with the University of Warwick has clearly demonstrated the synergies between our HPGRTM approach and their expertise in polymer chemistry, and we are excited to be able to integrate their IP into our technology and commercial diagnostics programmes.”

Professor Matthew Gibson from the University of Warwick Department of Chemistry and Warwick Medical School – whose research interests include glycosciences and biomaterials science to address global healthcare challenges, says: “We are hopeful that our continued relationship at the R&D level will also fuel further improved product performance, and potentially, expansion into other areas.”

Based at the Norwich Research Park, Iceni Diagnostics is also pioneering the study of sugars in the body and their application to clinical disease. The company has an exciting pipeline of new diagnostics and vaccines including a transformational stall-side test for equine influenza which will be commercially launched in 2021/2.

To learn more about Iceni Diagnostics, watch the film below.

The Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor is at the forefront of a new era for life sciences and medtech as the world changes to meet the needs of our growing and ageing population.  Many of the 3,000 researchers working at Norwich Research Park, where Iceni Diagnostics are based, are dedicated to developing new techniques in areas such as gut health, plant health and synthetic biology.  To learn more about the Life Science cluster in the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor and the opportunities for innovative, purpose-driven R&D institutions and businesses, read our special report below.