09.01.2023

ANFF-C Gate 2 funding awarded to Prof. Brian Abbey

Credit: NanoMSlide
ANFF-C is excited to announce that we have awarded LaTrobe University Professor Brian Abbey with Gate 2 pre-seed funding to aid in the commercialisation of the multi-award-winning NanoMslide technology.

Developed by LaTrobe University researchers Prof. Brian Abbey and Dr Eugeniu Balaur, their novel microscope slide comprises a patented contrast-enhancing, nanofabricated slide coating that will revolutionise the use of optical microscopy in cancer biopsy screening. The researchers were able to develop their technology using open-access equipment and expertise at the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, part of The Australian National Fabrication Facility network.

The inventors’ ingenuity has been recognised with the 2022 ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology and the 2022 Victoria Prize for Science and Innovation in Physical Sciences.

Yet, even the most innovative ideas must make the leap from benchtop to market and overcome the translational ‘valley of death’ that dooms many great ideas from ever leaving the laboratory.

ANFF-C is a pre-seed fund that uses both its financial and human resources to enable ANFF-derived technologies to realise their commercial potential. We support the launch of new businesses and empower them to attract capital from professional investors by decreasing the risks associated with early-stage entities (ESEs).

As recipients of Gate 1 funding, the NanoMslide team was able to overcome a major barrier to commercialisation of benchtop inventions – demonstrating that their fabrication method can be scaled up for mass production. Demand for the NanoMslide technology quickly outpaced the team’s manufacturing capabilities. Gate 1 funding enabled Prof. Abbey to access ANFF’s network of nanofabrication experts to brainstorm solutions to this hurdle.

After scouring the world for a solution that would serve both NanoMslide and Australia’s nanofabrication community, ANFF-VIC and La Trobe coinvested half-a-million dollars to procure the Eulitha Phabler, a high-resolution, high-throughput patterning tool. ANFF-C’s Gate 1 funding is supporting the team to increase its capacity to manufacture NanoMslide in Australia to 1,000s of units each month.

However, there are additional barriers that prevent many ESEs from successfully commercialising their intellectual property (IP) such as scaling up production to rates required for market, identifying the target demographic for the product, developing manufacturing strategies, and overcoming regulatory hurdles.

ANFF-C’s Gate 2 funding enables its awardees to engage external consultants and service providers to develop winning strategies to overcome these barriers. Prof. Abbey and the NanoMslide team seek to employ consultants to complete a technical review for development of a regulatory plan, establish the fundamentals of a quality management system, and develop a design control process.

The NanoMslide technology has a wide variety of applications beyond cancer diagnostics. ANFF-C Director John Morrison will be working hand-in-hand with the researchers to determine the bespoke services that best position their IP to successfully attract investors and find the right path to market.

For more information on ANFF-C, contact John Morrison at john.morrison@anff.org.au.

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