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SAW Diagnostics Wins Platform Development Funds for POC MDx Sample Prep System

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – SAW Diagnostics said today that it has been awarded £1.50 million ($1.93 million) in funding from Innovate UK to support development of a sample preparation system for infectious disease pathogen detection.

The system uses an acoustic-flow method called surface acoustic waves, or SAW, potentially enabling rapid, on-chip DNA extraction and purification at the point of care. The grant will finance development an integrated sample processing technology platform over the next two years, the Glasgow, Scotland-based firm said in a statement.

"Automated extraction of nucleic acid from diverse, complex sample types is a major bottleneck in clinical testing today, often requiring that samples are sent to remote laboratories for expert analysis," explained SAW Dx CEO Iain Miller.

The SAW DX platform is designed to enable molecular detection directly from a range of clinical sample types in near-patient and research settings. The technology "reduces the complexity and cost of the workflow, thereby truly enabling testing in diverse clinical settings that do not require laboratory expertise, such as doctors' offices, [pharmacies], or other near-patient environments," Miller said.

The interaction between sound waves, a disposable chip, and patient samples — including blood, swabs, or urine — enables the release of DNA and its subsequent amplification, potentially allowing for test results in as little as 15 minutes.

The firm noted that it plans to collaborate with major corporate partners in the point-of-care sexual health, respiratory, and hospital-acquired infection testing markets.