$600,000 federal grant for quick 30 minute COVID-19 test
Australian owned and Melbourne based biotech company ZiP Diagnostics (ZiP) has received a $600,000 grant from the Federal Government to develop a new and extremely quick point-of-care test for COVID-19
Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt, made the announcement, revealing details of the third round of grants from the $45 million BioMedTech Horizons (BMTH) program, an initiative of the Medical Research Future Fund operated by MTPConnect.
The grant will allow the company to begin manufacturing and marketing its low cost and easy to use diagnostic test system that delivers a result in less than 30 minutes.
The unit is extremely mobile and can undertake hundreds of tests per hour It provides sensitivity comparable to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) gold standard and can be used at community level without the need for a medical testing laboratory or technician.
Apart from COVID-19, the ZiP system also tests for sexually transmitted infections and other infections of global importance.
The portable test instrumentation can be quickly deployed to any location to maximise impact on COVID-19 identification and containment and is scalable from small volumes to thousands of tests in a day.
The BMTH grant will greatly assist with development and regulatory approval of ZiP’s world leading molecular diagnostic technology.
“We are delighted to receive this BMTH grant as it provides valuable funding for the development of ZiP’s technology and will allow us to secure regulatory approval in a shorter time frame than originally envisaged,” said ZiP Technical Director Bill Hopper.
“It will also allow Australia to supply low-middle income countries — who have desperately pressing needs in medical diagnostics and antibiotic stewardship — to assist with disease elimination.”
ZiP Diagnostics was launched in 2019 to meet global infectious diseases testing challenges and provide pandemic protection for Australia.
All key elements of the ZiP technology are made locally ensuring Australia is less susceptible to global supply chain issues for diagnostic equipment.
The test regime is suitable for use across many industry and community sectors including government, health, travel, defence, education, mining, industrial, commercial and sport.
“This innovative technology and our local production capacity means ZiP is ideally placed to play a major role in the identification, containment and management of COVID-19 in Australia,” Mr Hopper said.