$3M Boost for a West Australian COVID-19 Rapid Screening Instrument

West Australian medical technology company, Avicena Systems, has been awarded a $3 million Federal Government grant to further its rapid screening instrument for COVID-19.

Avicena’s Sentinel COVID-19 instrument is low cost, and capable of screening up to 3,800 samples an hour and more than 92,000 samples a day.

The Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) grant, was presented to Avicena by Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Christian Porter, at the company’s West Perth facility earlier today.

The grant will enable Avicena to significantly expand its manufacturing capabilities in Western Australia and to accelerate global roll-out for the ultra-high throughput COVID-19 screening instrument.

Avicena CEO Tony Fitzgerald said the Avicena Systems instrument can help authorities control the spread of the virus.

“The PCR testing process can be uncomfortable and typically takes overnight to produce results.  Our instrument uses saliva samples with a turnaround time of about 45 minutes, making testing significantly faster and easier,” he said.

Minister Porter expressed enthusiasm for the Avicena instrument and the opportunities it offers to foster Australia’s advanced medical manufacturing capability.

Avicena has already delivered their first Avicena instrument to a government user in Spain.

“We’re proud to be awarded this significant Federal Government grant which will help us to substantially expand our local production capabilities, meet growing global demand, employ more people, and provide even more business to the many Australian companies in our supply chain,” Tony said.

More About Avicena Systems

Avicena Systems is an Australian medical technology company, based in Western Australia,  formed to develop low-cost and ultra-high throughput screening for COVID-19.

The Avicena Sentinel instrument is designed to rapidly screen up to 3,840 samples an hour or 92,160 samples a day.

Sentinel uses state-of-the-art RT-LAMP chemistry and robotics to measure isothermal amplification of nucleic acids with comparable accuracy to PCR and at a fraction of the cost.

The first Avicena instrument has recently been delivered to a government user in Spain.

The Avicena instrument can be readily adapted to screen for other major pathogens including dengue, hepatitis, malaria and new respiratory viruses.

More about the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI)

The $1.3bn MMI program is part of the Federal Government’s 10-year plan to transform and diversify Australia’s economy by unlocking private sector investment, support Australian businesses to scale up local manufacturing and accelerate global commercialisation.