Brisbane-based biotech company Microbio has been awarded an Australian Government Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) co-investment of $407,000 to enable the company to establish sovereign manufacturing capabilities in Australia for a test to identify potential biological threats.
The company, which is one of 24 firms co-funded via the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) Commercialisation Fund, will manufacture specific oligonucleotides, a unique component used in its core product InfectID-BSI, InfectID-COVID and InfectID-SSBA: its patented one-tube, seven-pathogen test to rapidly detect Security Sensitive Biological Agents (SSBAs).
Oligonucleotides are short sections of laboratory-created DNA and are a key component of Microbio’s suite of InfectID tests, which include bloodstream infection and COVID diagnostic tests in addition to the SSBA test.
Microbio Chief Executive Officer, Paul Carboon said AMGC’s support would allow Microbio sovereign manufacturing capabilities of oligonucleotides whilst protecting its homegrown IP.
“InfectID-Bloodstream infection is entering the clinical trials phase,” said Mr Carboon. “Now with AMGC’s support, we will take InfectID-SSBA to the point where we can begin in-field trials.”
“We are currently seeking parties that would like to work with us to test InfectID-SSBA in defence and civilian trials.”
AMGC Managing Director, Dr Jens Goennemann stated that Microbio’s project is a great example of the innovative products that will deliver sovereign benefits through being manufactured in Australia.
“Microbio’s products will create highly innovative and skilled jobs, while also establishing new manufacturing capability in Australia. Its InfectID system also has the potential to improve the health and wellbeing of defence personnel and civilians both locally and abroad,” said Dr Goennemann.
Microbio’s InfectID-SSBA diagnostic tool was developed in collaboration with DMTC’s Medical Countermeasures Initiative (MCMi), Queensland University of Technology and Defence scientists.
DMTC’s MCMi Program Leader, Dr Felicia Pradera said it was gratifying to acknowledge AMGC’s support for the InfectID-SSBA project.
“Projects like this that build on the outcomes of DMTC collaborations are critical to ensure that research expertise, Intellectual Property and industrial capability stays here in Australia,” said Dr Pradera.