KITCHENER, Ontario, April 6, 2021 – Nicoya Lifesciences, a leading provider of advanced analytical instruments for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, is pleased to announce that it is receiving additional advisory services and funding to continue research and development of its rapid, saliva-based COVID-19 antigen test. This is the second phase of support from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). As part of a joint challenge issued with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) through the government’s Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program, the funding could reach up to $1,998,592. To date, the company has received $299,190 in funding and advisory services from NRC IRAP under Phase I of the challenge.
With a company mission to improve human life, the team at Nicoya leveraged their expertise in biochemistry, microfluidics, and nanotechnology to successfully demonstrate the feasibility of their novel diagnostic solution, called Atlas. Unlike other point-of-care diagnostics, Atlas is able to provide PCR levels of performance without the need for complex lab equipment or highly trained technicians. This funding will allow Nicoya to advance the development of Atlas and begin clinical trials.
“In a short period of time, our team was able to leverage years of experience to develop a completely novel method of viral detection that solves many of the issues with the current point-of-care tests,” stated Ryan Denomme, co-founder and CEO of Nicoya. “Combining ease-of-use and affordability while still maintaining the highest levels of performance makes Atlas a powerful tool to combat this and future pandemics. We are grateful that NRC IRAP has chosen to further support the research and commercialization of this disruptive diagnostic technology.”
Atlas is a low-cost, single-use device that tests for active SARS-CoV-2 infection via viral antigen detection. Users will be able to self-administer the test with a simple saliva collection kit and smartphone application that will take them from sample to answer in under 20 minutes with excellent sensitivity.
As a platform technology, Atlas is also well suited to adapt to the rapidly changing nature of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, allowing it to remain effective towards viral variants and help mitigate future crises. By developing a test that is affordable, sensitive, and easy to use, Nicoya is confident that Atlas will become widely accessible on the global stage.
“Looking beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlas will allow communities around the world to be better prepared for future viral outbreaks,” said Arjun Sudarsan, PhD, Chief Technical Officer at Nicoya. “As we saw over the last year, we were unprepared for a pandemic of this magnitude. By adopting a portable test like Atlas, countries can ensure they have the capabilities needed to scale up diagnostic testing, while also providing individual users with accessible and effective testing. This platform-based approach to diagnostic testing will help prepare the world for viral outbreaks beyond SARS-CoV-2.”
For additional information and updates on Atlas, please visit www.nicoyalife.com.
About Nicoya Lifesciences
Nicoya is a leading provider of advanced analytical instruments for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. The Canadian company’s mission is to improve human life by helping scientists succeed. Its instruments are used by hundreds of world-renowned researchers in over 40 countries. Information about Nicoya can be found at nicoyalife.com, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
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