Pebble (IRIS): An innovative portable device that detects Covid-19 [19/1/2021]
BIOPIX DNA Technology P.C. was established in December 2019 with the aim of making molecular diagnostic tools available to those in need, regardless of their economic capacity, country of residence and level of education.
BIOPIX-T develops and manufactures Pebble (formerly known as IRIS), an innovative portable molecular control diagnostic device (DNA, RNA) that can detect infectious diseases such as influenza and COVID-19 as well as mutations (cancerous or cardiovascular) for the administration of medicines. It is noteworthy that for the first time an innovative device can provide real-time quantitative information from a LAMP chromometric reaction (qcLAMP) - which was until recently a method that provided only qualitative information.
Both sensitivity, reliability and speed are equivalent to laboratory diagnostic machines, at a cost as low as other portable devices that do not provide real-time quantitative information. A great asset of the device is its easy-to-use operating protocol as well as quick resolution, which does not exceed 30 minutes, allowing use by non-specialized personnel, at the point of interest on a global scale. This achieves the goal of preparing the sample and measuring the result without additional stages, so in less time we have more samples.
Last but not least is the fact that it is made by using 3D Printing technology and communicates with all smart devices that use Android operating system.
BIOPIX-T is a successful example of technology transfer from research to business. The basic know-how was developed within the Hellenic Institute of Molecular Technology and Biotechnology of ITE, of which it is also a spin-off.
Horizon 2020 funding was awarded to the consortium (which includes three University Hospitals of Europe and a South African pharmaceutical company) for the immediate completion of the necessary certifications and subsequently the placing of the device and accompanying tests for the detection of Influenza and Coronavirus on the market. EnzyQuest, another enzyme-producing start-up funded by Unifund, is also involved in this consortium as a partner and supplier.
At the same time, in September 2020 the company was also funded by Metavallon Venture Capital, in conjunction with Greek private investors from the health sector. Metavallon VC is one of the funds of the EquiFund Venture Capital Fund funded by the EPANEK (European Regional Development Fund and National Resources), the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Investment Bank, institutional and private investors.
In addition to product development, the company will continue to produce basic research and participate in European research projects with the aim of entering the market of "care points" for infectious diseases in the near future.