June 02, 2020
Vancouver, Canada — Genome BC is pleased to announce a further investment of $500,000 in addition to $1 million last year 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 improving the quality of and providing the necessary 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 the need for further transfusions. The expected results are improved patient outcomes, safety, and reduced healthcare costs.
“We are pleased to provide LIT with additional growth capital through our Industry Innovation (I2) Fund,” says Dr. Tony Brooks, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Entrepreneurship & Commercialization at Genome BC. “This investment is specifically designated to amplify the distribution of the technology and fund a pilot program in clinical settings.”
The premise of the ThromboLUX technology is that activated platelets are optimal for clotting and are therefore most effective for trauma or surgery patients while non-activated platelets are best 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 will change these results.
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.
“As elective surgeries are returning, platelet shortages are expected. LIT is doing its part to preserve this precious resource and save lives by providing the right platelet to the right patient,” said Irfhan Rajani, Acting President and CEO at LightIntegra Technologies. “Genome BC’s additional investment will help us to advance commercial activities.”
Genome BC’s 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
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