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  • Writer's pictureTania LaGambina

Innovate Grant & New Starter

We are pleased to announce that Rosa has been awarded a grant by Innovate UK through its Biomedical Catalyst Feasibility & Primer award. This programme funds the development of innovative healthcare products, technologies and processes, with an aim to explore and evaluate the commercial potential of innovative ideas. It has also allowed us to welcome a new member to the team.

Through this award, Rosa receives £230k to fund the development of our biosensing platform, Pandra, into an early prototype point-of-care test for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is caused by fat accumulation in the liver and affects around 30% of adults globally, with around 20% progressing to a more serious condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH-related liver damage is reversible, but only if diagnosed early. However, NASH diagnosis rates are extremely low, and for most patients diagnosis occurs too late for intervention. There is a significant need for innovative approaches that address this problem. This funding from Innovate UK will help us develop Pandra to address this need.

The project aims to produce an early prototype of our Pandra sensor that could be deployed at or near the point-of-care. This would provide clinicians with an invaluable new tool for initially assessing high-risk patients for NASH and deciding the best referral route. Ultimately, we hope the project will result in a new test that will enable more patients to be tested for NASH, reducing the number progressing to more severe liver disease.

This project builds on our exciting proof-of-concept data demonstrating the detection of NASH in patient sera using Pandra, and sees Rosa collaborate with experts in the NAFLD field, Dr Kushala Abeysekera from the University of Bristol, and Prof Harpal Randeva and Dr Ioannis Kyrou from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. The project also sees Rosa team up with glucose sensing company, and fellow Science Creates member, Carbometrics, whose synthetic chemists will provide expert knowledge in diagnostic sensor development.

With this award, we are delighted to welcome Kathryn Watt, our Scientist, to the team. Kathryn recently completed her PhD at the University of Bath, where she worked on developing peptides for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. She has a background in Chemistry, with an Integrated Master’s degree from the University of St Andrews. Kathryn joined the team in April, and has since made fantastic progress on this project.

Welcome to the team Kathryn!

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