Updated on 6 September 2012
Molecular painting enables the surface modification of biomembranes. In the past, this has typically been achieved using antibodies that are expensive. Furthermore, another disadvantage is that there was a need for information on the target agent. Also, the protein targeted and bound to is, subsequently, blocked or rendered inactive. Molecular Painting can modify the membrane without the necessity to target pre-existing surface proteins, by inserting directly into the lipid bilayer.
Dr Dangerfield also said, "Currently, there is only one other company world-wide, that Anovasia is aware of, which offers a comparable technology. However, Anovasia's Molecular Painting differs from what this firm is offering, since it is mainly focussed on biological molecules (proteins) rather than generating synthetic molecules."
"Specifically relating to the diagnostics industry, Molecular Painting can allow multiple agents to be targeted from one clinical sample which can have great cost and time savings as-well-as require less sample to be collected from the patient. For example, one blood sample could be used for five preparations undertaken simultaneously rather than collecting five blood samples for five different procedures," he said.
However, the journey from developing a technology to commercializing it has not been easy. Dr Dangerfield, while speaking about the hurdles, said that, "The main challenge for a small company like Anovasia with a novel and innovative technology is creating awareness with the correct target audience fast enough to make business sense. In some respects the market must be created."
"It is the old chicken and egg scenario; in order to create awareness quickly, a large investment should be made. However, it's difficult to attract such investment until sufficient market interest has been shown. In fact, as it is in today's market, concrete customers, orders or signed deals need to be in place to guarantee quick access to funds," highlighted Dr Dangerfield.
Moving ahead in the market, Anovasia is looking for a distribution partner to bring its existing products into more wide-spread use in the basic and applied research markets. Anovasia is currently negotiating with two potential partners for achieving this. In parallel, Anovasia is seeking industrial partners to develop new products in the field of vaccines, diagnostics and drug and gene delivery. With respect to these latter plans, Anovasia will continue key research projects that are being undertaken based on direct interest, shown from commercial partners in these areas.