Wholesale
Pacific Channel Limited

Orbis - Corona Virus detection

Private Equity

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Transaction Size
NZD 5,300,000.00
Share Price
NZD 8.50
Minimum Investment
NZD 50,000.00
Issue Type
Private Equity
Sector
Health Care

Background

Pacific Channel, is seeking up to NZ$5.3 million of further capital on behalf of it's investee company Orbis Limited. Funds from the capital raise will be used to validate Orbis’ diagnostic system as a cost-effective, precise and accurate immunoassay that has significant advantages for detecting today’s Coronavirus infection

It’s adaptable platform approach also makes it highly suitable for rapid test development to combat future pandemic threats.

Pacific Channel has already invested in the company and will be investing further into this offer. 

Points of Difference

Orbis Diagnostics Limited has developed a cost-effective, precise and accurate immunoassay that has significant advantages for detecting today’s Coronavirus infection. It’s adaptable platform approach also makes it highly suitable for rapid test development to combat future pandemic threats.

Currently, the options for Covid-19 testing are either rapid but imprecise (e.g. lateral flow strip), or relatively slow and accurate (e.g. medical laboratory). Orbis’ novel high-throughput ELISA design combines the speed and portability of lateral flow tests with the quantitative precision of commercial labs in a highly scalable manner.

Orbis’ system could be deployed in situations in which identifying contagious people before they are symptomatic is critical. We anticipate ~5 minutes for a qualitative yes/no result, and ~15-20 minutes to an accurate measure of viral load from the same sample with no sample prep time. Examples where Orbis’ approach would have considerable value include testing medical professionals entering a hospital, family or therapeutic staff entering a retirement facility, individuals attending meetings (e.g. policy response) or accessing key parts of society’s infrastructure (e.g. government agencies, financial institutions). Of course, Orbis’ testing could also be advantageous in medical laboratory settings, where it could cut testing time from 3-4 hours to < 30 minutes, while retaining high accuracy.

Technology

Speed to develop

Portability

Specificity/Sensitivity

Diagnosis time

COGs

Orbis

***

***

****

***

****

qPCR

****

-

*****

*

*

Plate-based ELISA

***

-

****

*

*

Lateral flow

***

****

*

***

*****

***** = Strong   * = Weak

Existing laboratory-based assays: These methods are generally housed in specialist laboratories and require trained staff to achieve accurate, repeatable results. In addition to longer testing times, sample collection and transport to the laboratory can add significant delays. These features undermine their suitability for rapid testing or for testing in public settings.

·      qPCR: quantifies the presence of an infectious agent through DNA or RNA amplification and measurement. This method is time consuming (3-4hrs), very sensitive to contamination and is relatively costly. 

·      Plate-based ELISA: detects and quantifies an infectious agent by using labelled, specific antibodies or aptamers that bind to target identifying molecules. Lab-based ELISA testing typically takes ~4 hours.

·      Lateral flow: Like ELISA, lateral flow testing also detects infectious agents through binding of a labelled, specific antibody or aptamer. These “dip-stick” tests typically take 15 minutes to obtain a qualitative “yes/no” result with lower sensitivity and accuracy. 

Orbis’ technology: We have developed a novel, proprietary ELISA-type assay on a microfluidic platform that achieves the accuracy and robust repeatability of the plate-based ELISA with the speed and portability of the lateral flow test. Key advances are in the physics of the fluid, reagent and sample handling and the adaptable disc-based platform approach. Developed originally for detecting progesterone in milk at ng/mL levels, we believe Orbis’ approach could be rapidly and effectively adapted to detecting Covid-19 today, and fill an important gap in our global efforts to prevent and/or minimise the impact of all future pandemics.

Orbis team:

Prof. Cather Simpson (Founding Scientist and Director):

Is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded scientists having founded New Zealand’s premier laboratory for photonics research – the Photon Factory; and New Zealand’s most successful agtech scientist as the Founding Scientist and CTO of Engender Technologies, a spin out from the University of Auckland sold to CRV in 2018.

Dr. Allan Goldberg (Director):

Dr Allan Goldberg has been instrumental in the formation and development of a number of start-up life science companies that have created significant returns for investors. Dr Goldberg was previously a professor of virology and the Richard King Mellon Foundation Fellow at The Rockefeller University. During that time, he contributed to the field of viral oncology through his studies on transformation and presented widely at academic conferences. Dr Goldberg’s deep virology experience and networks to US investment and industry will add significant value to Orbis.

Colin Harvey (Director):

Colin Harvey is an experienced in the development and commercialisation of anti-pathogenic technologies and driving them to a trade sale. Colin founded the New Zealand animal health company Ancare, which created significant market share across several animal health categories. The trading assets and later R&D arm of Ancare were sold to Merial, a global animal health company.  

Matheus Vargas (Chief Technical Officer):

Matheus is an experienced scientist who is responsible for leading the R&D efforts of the company. His innovative thesis, in the field of microfluidics, has led to developments that allowed fast device prototyping of this novel high-throughput ELISA design.

Brent Ogilvie (Commercial founder and interim CEO):

Provides extensive commercial experience and an invaluable network of colleagues and international affiliates in the healthtech market, including proven international deal making experience. Brent was a co-founder of Engender Technologies, which he led and managed from start up to exit working with Prof Simpson.

Click here to read about Engender, a previous successful venture involving Pacific Channel, Cather Simpson and Brent Ogilvie. A PDF copy can be found under the Documents tab.

Register Interest and you will be put in touch with Pacific Channel.

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Pacific Channel Limited

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