Biocode takes on global Long COVID crisis by sub-licensing novel diagnostic
Innovus, Stellenbosch University’s innovation and commercialisation division, is proud to announce that the University has patented a groundbreaking research method, which detects microclots in the blood of Long COVID patients. This IP has been licensed exclusively to the University start-up company, Biocode.
Biocode’s Managing Director and head of SU’s Department of Physiological Sciences, Prof Resia Pretorius, says between 10 and 30% of COVID-19 survivors worldwide have or had long-term effects after recovering from the acute COVID-19 infection. Common symptoms are constant fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, depression, and anxiety. The research revealed that Long COVID patients have large microclots within their blood that entraps numerous inflammatory molecules that may cause many of the persistent symptoms.
The Biocode team visited Germany in November last year as part of an international research and collaborative effort to understand the disease pathology and progression. Biocode has recently signed their first sub-license agreement with a German Long COVID treatment centre and two more agreements are being negotiated. Despite this agreement, users of this method will have to validate its usage with their own country’s governance bodies.
Apart from holding the exclusive Long COVID patent rights, Biocode received media attention by becoming the first SU and Innovus start-up company to receive seed and Series A funding from the University Technology Fund (UTF). Biocode is also developing a rapid inflammation test that identifies serum amyloid A in a blood sample. The test can be used as an affordable screening and monitoring tool for inflammation and inflammatory conditions. Biocode’s inflammation rapid test is as easy as a COVID antibody test or a rapid HIV test. A mobile app is being developed by Biocode to quantify the rapid test result and integrate in into Biocode’s inflammation tracking platform. The app will provide an interface to monitor patient results. Biocode’s test will be used by anyone, anywhere, with minimal training. In the next few months, Biocode’s focus is to externally validate the rapid test and to apply for a SAHPRA licence.
With Biocode’s Long COVID diagnostic IP and the inflammation rapid test, the Biocode team aims to empower patients through innovative healthcare technologies.
Innovus, Stellenbosch University
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