Genome BC Invests $1 Million in Funding to Innovative Medical Diagnostics Company
LightIntegra's ThromboLUX test for blood platelet activation status could improve efficacy of platelet transfusions
VANCOUVER, April 25, 2019 /CNW/ - Genome BC is pleased to announce $1 million in funding to LightIntegra Technology (LIT). LIT has developed the first analyzer to provide a routine test for platelet activation status.
A Vancouver based medical device company, LIT is focused on reducing the failure to achieve the desired level of blood platelets in a patient following a platelet transfusion (refractoriness) and reducing costs for healthcare institutions and blood cancer patients. Platelets are a key component in blood and are necessary for clotting and immune defense. LIT's novel technology, ThromboLUX, can be used to rapidly determine platelet quality, thus avoiding ineffective transfusions and potentially reducing platelet refractoriness. The expected results are improved patient outcomes, safety, and reduced healthcare costs.
"We are pleased to provide LIT with $1 million in growth capital through our Industry Innovation (I2) Fund," says Dr. Tony Brooks, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization at Genome BC. "ThromboLUX will dramatically enhance platelet transfusion outcomes and patient health — particularly for those with blood cancers. Our investment, alongside funding from many local private investors, will help LIT commercialize this innovative BC-based product."
The premise of the ThromboLUX technology is that activated platelets are optimal for clotting and are therefore most effective for trauma or surgery patients and non-activated platelets are optimal for cancer patients. The current standard of care assumes all platelet bags are the same; however, up to 50% of a platelet bag inventory may be activated. When activated platelets are given to immune-compromised patients, such as cancer patients, it potentially leads to failed transfusions with multiple failed transfusions leading to platelet refractoriness, which can ultimately result in death.
ThromboLUX is a non-invasive, five-minute, easy-to-use optical test that doesn't require dilution or reagents. It relies on the principle of dynamic light scattering to determine the size and distribution of all particles in a platelet sample.
"Clinical trials have demonstrated the potential to improve the effectiveness of platelet transfusions by providing the right bag to the right patient – right now. With ThromboLUX, we have the ability to reduce unnecessary transfusions and the overall cost of care, with the objective to transform the worldwide use of one of life's most precious resources – platelets," said William Dubiel, President and CEO at LightIntegra Technologies.
Genome BC has invested in LIT through its Industry Innovation (I²) program. The I² Fund provides commercialization support for companies developing innovative life science technologies that address biological challenges in key economic sectors in BC: Agriculture, Energy and Mining, Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, and Human Health. The I² Fund also supports digital health and other technologies that further move precision medicine into clinical practice. I² funding is repayable and is allocated to promising technologies (products, processes or services) at the early stages of commercial development. The Fund aims to provide risk capital that is concurrently matched by other public or private funding sources.
About LightIntegra Technology, Inc.:
LightIntegra Technology is a privately funded medical diagnostics company launched from the Canadian Blood Services R&D labs through the efforts of research scientist Dr. Elisabeth Maurer. LightIntegra's efforts to minimize platelet refractoriness have resulted in the introduction of ThromboLUX, a rapid in-vitro test that assesses platelet activation status. As a routine test for platelet concentrates, ThromboLUX identifies which platelet units may be best suited for prophylaxis and which units may be best suited for therapeutic use.
About Genome British Columbia:
Genome British Columbia leads genomics innovation on Canada's West Coast and facilitates the integration of genomics into society. A recognized catalyst for government and industry, Genome BC invests in research, entrepreneurship and commercialization in life sciences to address challenges in key sectors such as health, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, agrifood, energy, mining and environment. Genome BC partners with many national and international public and private funding organizations to drive BC's bioeconomy. www.genomebc.ca
SOURCE Genome British Columbia