“The grant provides the Company a significant opportunity to continue our research in conjunction with Dr. Pouya Rezai and his team at York University…Further, “We greatly value our relationship and the ground-breaking research that is forthcoming as a result of collaborative efforts ,” states Sherman McGill, Executive Vice-President, and Chief Development Officer for Sixth Wave.
There’s a lot to break down here so let’s start with that. Sixth Wave initially partnered with York University on June 15, 2020, for the development of the Company’s Accelerated Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (AMIPs) virus detection technology through the submission of a grant application to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). This grant application is titled “Point-of-need Microfluidic Biosensor for Detecting Airborne Viruses using Molecularly Imprinted Polymers: Towards COVID-19 Virus Monitoring.” Wow, that is a mouthful. It’s clear to see that whoever came up with this title has never had to deal with a stringent word count in their life. However, excessively long name aside, Sixth Wave’s proposal is actually pretty cool.
The Company’s grant is intended for the development of a portable and low-cost technology for rapid on-site air sampling and detection of aerosol and droplet-encapsulated viruses in indoor and outdoor environments (Air Monitoring System). With this in mind, Sixth Wave has been working with York University to design a prototype of the Company’s AMIP technology to detect pathogens in airborne, water, and wastewater environments. In doing so, Sixth Wave hopes to provide a means to test individual patients as well as monitor entire populations through proactive measures, including pathogen detection in a variety of air handling systems (HVAC) and municipal wastewater treatment facilities. If successful, Sixth Wave’s Air Monitoring System could be used in a variety of settings including the public sector, private industry, hospitals, long-term healthcare facilities, and various forms of public transportation.
Why Is It Important & How Does it Work?
If successful, this Air Monitoring System would be able to provide proactive virus detection capabilities. Furthermore, this system could be used to provide surveillance and mapping of virus hot spots to further assist in the prevention of additional virus infections. So, how does it work? Sixth Wave’s Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) provide selective binding sites to specific cells used as imprinting templates during their fabrication. In doing so, these MIP formulations are able to detect and extract target substances at the molecular level. To put it simply, Sixth Wave’s AMIP technology functions similar to a sieve sifting out clumps of flour. Paired with microfluid sensors, the reaction time for target immobilization and identification can be improved from hours to minutes or less. Furthermore, the Company’s AMIPs have greater stability and significantly less susceptibility to environmental variants such as heat, light, and other factors which may impact traditional testing methods.
Getting back to the news at hand, Sixth Wave and York University have received additional grant funding after successfully passing Mitacs Accelerate Research Review. Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed a delivered research and training program in Canada for 20 years, building partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada. Sixth Wave’s recently acquired grant will provide continuity by funding the retention of current Ph.D. staff interns prior to another NSERC proposal planned for submission prior to December 2021.
Sixth Wave’s share price opened at $0.305, up from a previous close of $0.30. The Company’s shares are down -1.67% and were trading at $0.295 from 11:34 AM ET.