NanoVic spins off bio-nano firms Interstitial NanoSystems and Quintain NanoSystems

May 9, 2007 – Nanotechnology Victoria Ltd. (NanoVic), the key organization for delivering nanotechnology research outcomes to industry in the state of Victoria, Australia, has announced the launch of two companies. Interstitial NanoSystems (Interstitial NS) and Quintain NanoSystems (Quintain NS) are being spun off as independent firms. The spin-offs result from a portfolio of projects and developments built around strategic investment of nearly A$14 million with over a dozen partners since 2004. Both focused on bio-nanotechnology, the pair hopes to revolutionize the way that medicine is delivered.

Dr. Bob Irving, who serves as director of both start-ups, said, “These companies will help to consolidate the key skills, technologies, and manufacturing abilities in the areas of nanomedicine, where Australia and Victoria have strength.” Interstitial NS will focus initially on its pain-free insulin delivery patch for diabetes, while the first product for Quintain NS is a rapid clinical test for the detection of meningitis.

The Interstitial NS transdermal delivery patch for insulin has already been tested on animals by the Victorian College of Pharmacy and is expected to begin pre-clinical trials in September. Interstitial NS is working with Melbourne-based company Catapult to produce a portable prototype device to enable self administration. The patches are manufactured by the Victorian company MiniFAB, while the nanostructured drugs are formulated by Eiffel Technology.

Interstitial NS will also commercialize a device for pulmonary delivery of nanoparticulate drugs. The portable personal inhaler uses Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology, with Melbourne-based Charlwood Design designing the prototype pump. Pre-clinical trials are anticipated to start in January 2008.

Meanwhile Quintain NS has a number of products in the pipeline, and will focus first on a test for meningitis detection. The test uses nanoparticle technology to provide a rapid color-based readout, avoiding lengthy bacterial culturing. Also in development are a number of other diagnostic tools. Among them are nanoparticle-based imaging reagents that promise to enable early detection of disease states in humans. And, nanoarray biochips will offer a cost effective method of detection for both salmonella and bovine mastitis, and enzyme biosensor probes are under development for the measurement of sulfite in food and beverages.

Nanotechnology Victoria Ltd is the key organization for delivering nanotechnology research outcomes to Victorian industry. NanoVic has a membership of three universities; Monash, RMIT and Swinburne as research and technology providers, with financial backing from the State Government of Victoria.


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