Posted by Iain Butler, Partner
Oxford Genetics joins the coronavirus testing effort
Testing is currently on top of the Government’s agenda in its efforts to slow down the coronavirus pandemic.
The spotlight is now very much on the UK’s life sciences sector and we’re very proud that our client Oxford Genetics (trading as OXGENE) has formed a strategic partnership with The Native Antigen Company Limited (NAC), another portfolio company backed by Mercia Asset Management, to scale up production of Covid-19 antigens to test for the disease.
We are proud to celebrate our clients making their contribution to fighting the pandemic. Read more:
The University of Bath supports local hospitals
Diamond Light Source uses its synchrotron capability to speed up the vital research
OXGENE: an Oxford success story
OXGENE is a company “working at the edge of impossible”. It combines precision engineering and breakthrough science with advanced robotics and bioinformatics, to accelerate the rational design, discovery and manufacture of cell and gene therapies.
The Oxford Corporate team at Royds Withy King has supported OXGENE on various funding rounds, which have helped the business further secure its market-leading position in the expanding fields of CRISPR, gene therapy and antibody engineering.
Collaboration against Covid-19
Current Covid-19 tests use the polymerase chain reaction that detects the virus’s genome. Although an important first step, these tests can only detect ongoing Covid-19 infections. NAC’s antigens, already supplied on a global basis, can be used to develop smaller, point-of-care antibody test kits that could also be used on a mass basis at the community level for the confirmation of historic Covid-19 infection and provide research agents for the development of vaccine candidates.
This partnership will see both companies working together towards developing more scalable technologies for cost-effective infectious disease reagent production.
NAC was one of the first companies to release Covid-19 antigens and needs to scale production to meet increasing demand.
OXGENE has developed a proprietary technology which offers a highly scalable means of protein production, in this case Covid-19 antigens.
The partnership will enable large-scale production of high-quality Covid-19 antigens, which is a critical step toward the development of diagnostics and vaccines for this global challenge.
Dr Ryan Cawood, Chief Executive of OXGENE, said: “Our novel Protein Machine Technology represents a significant development in the rapid and scalable generation of high-quality viral proteins. We’re delighted that by collaborating with The Native Antigen Company, we can take advantage of our technology to support the needs of researchers racing to develop much-needed diagnostics and vaccines against Covid-19.”
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