Trajan Scientific and Medical continues its focus on microsampling, with the development of an innovative microbiopsy device that could revolutionize skin biopsy collection.
Trajan Scientific and Medical, partnered with researchers at The University of Queensland to develop a skin microbiopsy device which takes tissue samples smaller than 0.5mm in diameter. It can be used to collect biopsies for skin conditions, including skin cancers.
The technology was invented by researchers associated with UQ’s Faculty of Medicine Dermatology Research Centre, including Professor H. Peter Soyer, Professor Tarl Prow (now Director, Skin Research Centre, Hull York Medical School and University of South Australia) and Dr Alex Ansaldo, and allows the rapid collection of skin samples without local anesthetic or sutures.
The microbiopsy technology will undergo final product development after it was licensed to Trajan in a deal struck by UQ’s commercialization company, UniQuest.
Professor Soyer said biopsies were commonly performed to diagnose suspected skin cancers and inflammatory skin conditions and the process relies on routine histopathology for diagnostic interpretation.
“Conventional skin biopsies are usually 2-4mm in diameter, which means local anesthetic is required and one or two sutures needed to close the wound,” he said.
“By contrast, the microbiopsy device being developed is basically painless and leaves a tiny puncture site in the skin that heals in days.
“It also allows us to analyze the molecular profile of a potential skin cancer or an inflammatory skin condition, which is significant because it opens the door to biomarker profiling, which dramatically improves diagnostic information for doctors, and will, in the future, lead to personalized medicine treatments.”
Professor Soyer said the less invasive microbiopsy device would also allow dermatologists to better monitor the progression of suspected skin cancers and other skin conditions over time, without the need for more invasive conventional biopsies.
The license agreement follows an evaluation partnership announced by UniQuest and Trajan in 2017.
Trajan’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Andrew Gooley said he was excited the parties had reached the exclusive license agreement to further develop and take the microbiopsy device to market.
“The microbiopsy device has been in demand by research institutions investigating a range of skin conditions, including the global cosmetic and dermatology industry. Following on from our initial evaluation partnership, this license agreement provides a pathway to the commercialization and manufacture of the devices at high volume” he said.
UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said it was fantastic to see UQ technology in the hands of an Australian-based global company like Trajan.
“As Australian skin cancer rates continue to increase, it’s reassuring to see a University of Queensland innovation commercialized to potentially support early detection and improve treatment outcomes for patients,” he said.
Trajan CEO, Stephen Tomisich confirmed Trajan’s strong commitment to microsampling.
“Our focus in microsampling has grown since we began this microbiopsy partnership in Queensland,” said Tomisich. “For example, Trajan recently acquired a market leader in blood microsampling, California-based Neoteryx, to bring its Mitra® device with VAMS® sampling technology into our portfolio alongside our own hemaPEN® development. Now a patented FDA and CE certified non-invasive tool, hemaPEN enables the collection of fixed and precise microsamples of blood for quantitative analysis of biomarkers.”
“Remote sampling is an essential element in progressing personalized, preventative and data-based healthcare. We are building our device portfolio and building the tools around the entire workflow, from consumer portals to laboratory automation, through to the laboratory function itself.”
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