Sixth Wave Innovations (SIXW.C) extended their research and development relationships with the University of Alberta (UofA) and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology (LKS) regarding their Accelerated Molecular Imprinted Polymers (AMIPS) COVID-19 detection tech today, according to a press release.
The original deal had SIXW working with the UofA and LKS to develop AMIPS with a provision in the contract to continue the work through April 30, 2021, including imprinting of the virus and preliminary validation testing. This has since been extended through April 30, 2022.
“This agreement extension is a result of the rapid early success in the development of AMIPs, the strong relationship developed between the organizations and continued support of the key researchers at the UofA. Perhaps most remarkable is the short time frame in which the research team has delivered the COVID-19 AMIPs™ prototype ready for optimization. The entire process, from initial wet chemistry to the sensor prototypes now undergoing optimization, has been accomplished in approximately 90 days. This rapid turnaround is a testament to the responsiveness and versatility of AMIPs as a means of identifying novel, complex and ever-mutating pathogens,” said Dr. Jon Gluckman, president and CEO of Sixth Wave.
The extension of the agreement will allow for continued lab work and analytics to firmly establish a version of an imprint of the virus through the AMIPs technology. Derivatives of the imprint will become part of AMIPs key virus detection products when the project has hit all of its efficacy targets. The potential uses for the polymer include the manufacture of rapid, durable and versatile virus detection tools, which will include handheld devices, wearables and airborne detection tools.
Proof of Concept
The company previously finished their first-generation molecular imprint of the virus, after which they started a series of tests intended to quantify the accuracy of the process. The tests offered subsequent improvements to the production and processes, which improved the way future generations of AMIPS worked in detecting the virus and moving towards the definitive imprint.
The tests are complete now and successfully. The AMIPs prototype works using a combination of Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) and Atomic Force Microscopy at the UofA lab in Edmonton. This constitutes the proof of concept requirement set forth by the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Response Council, which funded the research.
The next stage is optimization testing, which will include testing and validation of the known variants of COVID-19, followed by a battery of tests designed to provide improvements, arrange a pathway towards production, and simplify data readouts to make the technology accessible to anyone.
Full disclosure: Sixth Wave Innovations is an equity guru marketing client.