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Oxford and Prenetics commit to COVID diagnostics development in multi-million dollar deal

Oxford University and Prenetics Limited have signed a multi-million dollar collaboration to further develop rapid molecular testing technology for infectious diseases.

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The partnership will last three years

The partnership also involves the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) in China and will specifically focus on growing the OxLAMP testing system.

The product provides a portable option when it comes to identifying COVID-19, providing results in just 20 minutes.

The technology is set to be rolled out in airports across the world and is already being used at London Heathrow.

Speaking about the partnership Professor Zhanfeng Cui, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Oxford said: “The initial collaboration with Prenetics has exceeded all expectations and their team led by Danny Yeung have been highly involved on a daily basis with our scientific developments. 

“When we think about the future, especially with the pandemic, it’s very apparent to us that testing is here to stay for years to come.

“With this in mind, we are excited about the future roadmap in which we develop novel scientific discoveries to aid the world with fast and accurate molecular testing globally.

“Our goal is to decentralise laboratory testing with rapid, highly accurate, molecular testing, not just for COVID-19 but for all infectious diseases. I’m confident we can succeed in our mission with Prenetics.”

Relationships between the university and Prenetics first started last year, when the biotechnology company acquired Oxsed, an Oxford spin-out company.

Part of the three year collaboration brings the construction of a new research centre in Suzhou that will look to develop new technologies around advanced molecular diagnostics.

The Prenetics Innovation Technology Centre (ITC) brings together leading researchers in bio-sensing, clinical virology, microbiology and medical devices.

Oxford University has been a figurehead in the UK’s fight against coronavirus. Health Tech World recently covered its selection as one of 10 research institutions that were awarded £2.5 million in funding to study the effects of new mutations of the virus.

The group was also the first to access new clinical data and analytics on clinical systems supplier EMIS’s new platform, helping with a number of studies related to COVID-19.

Danny Yeung, group CEO of Prenetics, said: “Our new collaboration with Oxford University and OSCAR is our commitment to continually invest in R&D and by establishing our own Innovation Technology Centre, we believe it will have profound breakthroughs in molecular diagnostics.

“We also expect more top researchers to be based in Suzhou and in Oxford over the next 3 years into our technology centre.

“The Oxford team of professors has been amazing and I’m truly excited with our molecular diagnostic pipeline and the opportunity to decentralise laboratory testing globally.”

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