Following a new investment of $6.1 million (NZD $8.8 million), biotech company Pictor today announced a partnership with U.S. laboratory service provider Mobility Health, launching a new antibody test as an important advance in COVID-19 monitoring and treatment. The investment, led by former Morrison & Co CEO Marko Bogoievski and specialist growth investor K One W One Ltd. (K1W1), will support market and product development of the new antibody test and other Pictor in vitro diagnostics.
This first of its kind test, Pictor’s PictArrayTM SARS-CoV-2 assay, will enable high efficacy personalized COVID-19 assessments by detecting if a patient has antibodies from a previous infection of SARS-CoV-2 (from spike protein (SP) and nucleocapsid protein (NP) antibodies) or from vaccination alone (SP antibodies only). It will also indicate whether at-risk patients have failed to mount a detectable antibody response despite vaccination or infection (SP and NP negative).
“The PictArray™ SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test is a high performance, all-in-one, NP/SP COVID-19 antibody test with serological differentiation. This is the only known test that separately measures antibodies from vaccines and SARS-CoV-2 infection in one test,” explained Pictor’s Chief Medical Officer Tadd Lazarus, MD. “The separate detection of SP and NP enables more precise clinical intervention.” Due to its ability to differentiate between natural and vaccine-based antibodies, the PictArray test is an advancement with critical applications including vaccine development.
“Pictor is pleased to partner with Mobility Health to offer such a unique and important test,” said Howard Moore, CEO of Pictor. “We are also incredibly grateful to Marko Bogoievski and Sir Stephen Tindall’s investment company K1W1 for their leadership in this investment. We now have the capital for further market development and launches within the United States, India, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU.”
Mobility Health founder and CEO Sandra Gunselman, Ph.D. expressed her own excitement about the launch of the PictArrayTM test: “This best-in-class technology offers each patient a personalized status of his or her protection against COVID-19. This is an important new tool in the enduring fight against COVID-19 and advances our mission of providing access to innovative new products.”
The COVID-19 pandemic remains a healthcare concern as new strains of the virus have emerged. According to recent data, COVID-19 cases are up significantly in many US states as well as in Europe and the UK. According to a March 31st statement by the World Health Organization in its weekly epidemiological update: “COVID-19 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and it is too early to reduce the quality of surveillance.”
Sir Stephen Tindall’s New Zealand investment company K1W1 and the former Morrison & Co. CEO Bogoievski led the round of funding, which involved 20 investors, bringing Pictor’s overall capital raised to $17 million (NZD $24.6 million). It was one in a series of funding rounds resulting from Pictor’s commitment to expanding manufacturing and R&D capabilities, not only in New Zealand, Europe, and India but in the U.S. where Pictor recently established headquarters.
Pictor is an in-vitro diagnostics company that offers a patented multiplexed platform for highly accurate and efficient testing of complex and infectious diseases for human and animal health. PictArray™ multiplexed technology makes it possible to test multiple disease markers in a single test simultaneously — with higher sensitivity, faster throughput, and reduced turn-around time. The company’s lead product, PictArray™ SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA Kit, enables more informed clinical intervention to manage the threat of COVID-19. For more information, please visit http://pictordx.com, https://www.linkedin.com/company/pictorltd, and @LtdPictor on Twitter.
About K One W One Ltd.
K1W1 is an investment company owned by Sir Stephen Tindall, the founder of successful New Zealand retailer The Warehouse. To date, K1W1 is responsible for over a total of $100 million in seed and venture capital funds for a large number of start-up and early-stage businesses in the arenas of biotech, environmental technology, high tech, software, and other high export potential businesses. The company’s objective is to assist young entrepreneurs to grow New Zealand as a leader in the “knowledge economy” and to help create a culture of making New Zealand “cash flow positive” in the international goods and services trade.
About Marko Bogoievski
Known as a high conviction investor, Marko Bogoievski served as the chief executive officer of New Zealand-based Morrison & Co before stepping down this past December. His career saw him lead Morrison & Co to become a global leader in infrastructure investment, specifically focused on data, renewable energy and healthcare. In his thirteen-year tenure with Morrison & Co, Bogoievski led growth in funds under management to over US$20 billion.
About Mobility Health
Mobility Health is a biohealth diagnostic company focused on bridging unintended gaps in healthcare by providing access to advanced diagnostics in innovative ways. In addition to mobile testing, the company has a CLIA-certified reference lab with accreditation for 43 states, including California and New York. Mobility Health provides clinical trial and research services to universities, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Mobility Health is a member of the Mason, Ohio living lab initiative to scale biohealth start-up companies.