University of Birmingham spinout company, Linear Diagnostics Ltd, together with Molecular Vision Ltd and the Food and Environment Research Council (Fera) have recently announced the award of a £392k grant from the UK's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, to help fund a two year project that will aim to prevent the spread of diseases in harvested crops.
The project aims to develop a low cost, onsite, single test for multiple pathogens that will help prevent the spread of spoilage diseases when crops enter storage or are washed prior to packaging. It will combine Linear Diagnostics, patented linear dichroism detection technique with the optical detection expertise of Molecular Vision and the key reagents and detection expertise of Fera. QV Food, a major food producer, and the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board will act as advisors on the project.
Linear Diagnostics is a specialist diagnostic company, established by Bioscience Ventures, a joint venture between Abingdon Health and the University of Birmingham. The Company has developed a proprietary platform technology based on linear dichroism, a molecular spectroscopic technique, to create rapid, onsite tests for the detection of multiple agents. The technology was invented by Professor Tim Dafforn and Dr Matt Hicks from the University's School of Biosciences, and can be applied across a number of sectors including agriculture, veterinary and human healthcare, where the company is currently developing a test for the multiplexed detection of infectious disease agents in sepsis.
'Linear Diagnostics is the second company to emerge from BioScience Ventures and is further validation of our model to commercialise IP from the University of Birmingham. This is an exciting project, which leverages the collective expertise within the Abingdon Health group and has the potential to transform current agri-food testing and provide significant economic benefits.'
Dr Chris Hand, CEO, Abingdon Health