La Trobe University is launching AlleSense, its first major spin-out company with technology that is set to revolutionise medical imaging and potentially save millions of lives.
AlleSense has been created to support the commercialisation of technology invented by La Trobe researchers Professor Brian Abbey and Dr Eugeniu Balaur, from the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science.
The world-first nanofabricated microscope slide – NanoMslide – uses colour contrast to easily and quickly identify abnormal cells in a suspect sample. It works by applying a special coating created using cutting edge nanofabrication technology, to the humble glass microscope slide, effectively turning it into a miniature chemistry lab, reducing time and removing dyes from the process.
It can be applied to any tissue and has shown significant promise in aiding the diagnosis of early stage and difficult-to-diagnose cancers – including breast cancer.
AlleSense will be established with an initial investment of $2.5 million, which is being driven by Welcome Ventures. It will enable researchers to progress development of the NanoMslide to clinical trials and facilitate further technology validation with their global partners. Julian Sutton from Welcome will be AlleSense’s inaugural Managing Director.
The investment will also support the scale-up of manufacturing of the product, ensuring the slides will be produced in Australia for a global market.
The AlleSense team is validating their manufacturing and quality management system with support from the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) and its ANFF-C translation fund, as well as the ANFF-funded Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (MCN), which purchased an instrument to support the team’s proof-of-scale studies.
The launch of AlleSense follows eight years of intensive research by the La Trobe University team at the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science in collaboration with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
Inventor and Co-Founder Professor Brian Abbey, Deputy Director of the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS), said developing the NanoMslide was a career highlight and by commercialising the technology hoped to be able to share it with the world.
AlleSense plans for the technology to undergo rapid clinical translation and be available for research use by the end of 2024. The company will be based at La Trobe’s Bundoora campus, part of the Research & Innovation Precinct which is a core component of the University City of the Future.
For more information on the company’s launch, read La Trobe University’s full media release here.