20 MAY 2020
NanoMslide has developed a novel microscope slide that enables any optical microscope to be used for instant, label-free, stain-free diagnosis of cancer in cells and tissues. The company recently gained support to establish a pilot production plant in Australia from the Australian National Fabrication Facility and La Trobe University.
Dr Brian Abbey, Professor in Physics and Chemistry and Dr Eugeniu Balaur, Senior Research Fellow developed the idea for NanoMslide in their research laboratory at the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science.
“We aimed to develop a nanotechnology solution for the label-free detection of abnormal cells that would be faster and more accurate than current approaches, which rely on chemicals and dyes,” says Brian.
One of the first applications for their invention was the detection of early-stage breast cancer. The team has plans to apply the technology to other cancer types, for example lung cancer, and will seek additional support to explore potential markets.
“We are driven by the desire to improve outcomes for patients and to reduce the rate of misdiagnosis,” says Brian.
“As we are working on critical, lifechanging problems, we constantly strive to develop our technology and deliver the best possible product.”
NanoMslide joined The Accelerator in 2019 to develop their business model, connect with local and international companies and investors, and to test their value proposition. In addition, the team wanted to gain the skills and training necessary to form a successful startup.
Delivered by the MedTech Actuator, the 15-month, industry-led, venture-backed program aggressively funds and accelerates medical, health and biological technology startups. The MedTech Actuator works alongside venture partner Artesian to support startups on their journey.
One of the biggest challenges Brian faced during his time in The Accelerator was moving outside his comfort zone.
“As a startup founder you need to fulfil many different roles,” says Brian. “At the beginning of The Accelerator, I found pitching to be particularly hard. But as the program progressed I gained in confidence and experience.”
Brian says that it is important for MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech entrepreneurs to get advice from as many people as possible and to always be prepared to challenge their initial assumptions.
“We realised a few times in The Accelerator that our initial plan was not ideal from a commercial perspective, so we had to make the difficult decision to change direction,” says Brian.
“The result though is that the company is now in a much better position than it was at the beginning of The Accelerator.”
In addition to their recent success in gaining support to establish a pilot production plant in Australia, NanoMslide has completed their proof-of-concept trial and connected with potential investors and key industry partners.
Brian says that the MedTech Actuator has been an excellent resource for the NanoMslide team and business, supporting every step of their commercialisation journey.
“All mentors have helped us get to our current stage of development. I would particularly like to acknowledge the input and help from the MedTech Actuator staff who have been instrumental in our success,” says Brian.
“I would recommend The Accelerator to anyone with a great idea or potential product in the MedTech space,” says Brian. “The community and support have been fantastic, and The Accelerator has been an unforgettable experience.”
Do you have a MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech prototype to improve or save lives? Find out more about The Accelerator.