This biotech company located in Charlottetown develops and commercializes antibody-related technologies. “We were one of the early companies involved in developing research products for COVID-19,” says Jon Zuccolo, Founder and President.
“We developed our first antibodies by early March 2020, which positioned us to quickly get involved in research and in developing products for COVID-19.”
The company works in two areas:
Antigen testing is a methodology to identify if a person is currently infected with the virus. “Our goal is to help develop products that can be used on site in places like hospitals, airports, and schools, and tell you almost immediately if you are infected with COVID-19.
“We developed a number of reagents in house, including a lab-based test that allows you to identify corona virus in a saliva sample. We are currently working on our own five-minute saliva-based test to identify corona virus infection. There is a lot of interest in this technology, and the Canadian government is planning to purchase rapid testing kits.”
Serological testing determines if a person has previously been exposed to the corona virus by detecting COVID-19 antibodies. This is an important test to understand the spread of the infection and to monitor if a vaccine can generate a strong antibody response and to check if there is preexisting immunity in the population.
“We are currently working on partnering with companies that can manufacture our test and we are increasing our data set to prepare submissions to Health Canada and the FDA for emergency authorization and commercialization of this test. This work was supported heavily by the National Research Council of Canada, Canadian Blood Services, Dalhousie University, Next Generation Manufacturing and Innovation PEI, and private funds.
“We are very heavily focused on the technical side of things – we identify a technical challenge and then try to solve it, developing robust, innovative, high quality products.
“The marketing side of things is very challenging for our company. We are just four people with very technical backgrounds. We are trying to partner with groups with more expertise in commercialization and marketing with sales forces and well– established distribution networks. It is a massive challenge to get these products out globally.”
For more information, visit www.AffinityImmuno.com