Psyros Diagnostics Ltd has signed an agreement to be acquired for 65 MSEK (ca. £5.25M) by the Swedish company Prolight Diagnostics AB.

Psyros Diagnostics has developed a ground-breaking single-molecule counting Point-ofCare (POC) technology. This patent-pending and multiplex-capable technology enables the measurement of biomarkers at extremely low concentrations (femtomolar 10-15) in approximately 10 minutes or less.

“To our knowledge, there are no other POC systems capable of offering this performance with such simplicity”, said Ulf Bladin, CEO Prolight Diagnostics AB. Payment will be made by the issue of new shares, with 30 percent to be paid within four weeks of completion and the remaining 70 percent to be paid during the next two years, provided that predetermined milestones are achieved. All newly issued shares will have a “lock-up” period until December 31st, 2025.

Background and potential

Throughout the Covid pandemic, the use of POC testing has increased substantially. This has led to an acute awareness of the value of rapid, simple and efficient testing near the patient. Many companies, healthcare providers, politicians and private individuals realize the value of these tests, benefiting patients, clinicians and healthcare in general. This interest has, in turn, created a need for new technologies that can meet the challenges of more demanding tests, whilst still being competitively priced.

Psyros Diagnostics has developed a ground-breaking single-molecule counting POC technology. This patent-pending and multiplex-capable technology enables the measurement of biomarkers at extremely low concentrations (femtomolar 10-15 ) in approximately 10 minutes or less. The system consists of a simple and easy to use single use test cartridge and dedicated analyser. Only a small drop of blood is required to perform the test. This novel platform technology aligns with Prolight Diagnostics’ existing strategy of measuring extremely low concentration biomarkers such as troponin at high sensitivity.

In addition, it provides the opportunity to develop new tests in numerous other clinical areas that were previously limited to specialized laboratories. This novel technology could see the beginning of a paradigm shift within POC testing, creating conditions to provide considerable efficiency gains in clinical diagnostics. Potential future applications include neurological pathologies (dementia, traumatic brain injury etc.), immune system dysfunction (sepsis, autoimmune disease) and virus detection, including Covid. Currently, PCR tests are recommended for definitive detection of Covid, due to their extreme sensitivity. However, a limitation of PCR is the long turnaround time for results, which can be several hours or more, depending on the system.

The ability of the Psyros platform to individually count molecules at low levels opens up the potential of POC immunoassay sensitivity that could approach or surpass the performance of PCR for the detection of contagious viral particles in biological fluids. Furthermore, and importantly, the Psyros platform may provide results within 10 minutes or less, which is a significant improvement compared to PCR.

Psyros Diagnostics consists of a highly competent team, with a long and broad experience in IVD development, particularly in POC test and system development. The team previously developed a POC IVD from concept through to CE-marking.

Psyros Diagnostics are delighted to be joining Prolight Diagnostics. Prolight Diagnostics are an ideal partner for us and they share our strategic vision of revolutionizing patient care, by providing clinicians with the tools needed to rapidly perform diagnosis near the patient. We have developed ground-breaking single molecule counting technology and we believe that the synergy of the combined companies will allow us to get the product to market more rapidly, for the benefit of patients, said Paul Monaghan, one of the founders and Head of Engineering, Psyros Diagnostics.

Prolight believes that Psyros’ competence and experience is a very important addition to the joint companies’ continued development. Together, we plan to develop the most innovative POC systems on the market, not only for cardiac biomarkers, such as high sensitivity troponin, but also for many other clinical areas, including multiplex applications where several biomarkers are tested simultaneously from the same sample. One of the key strengths of the Psyros single-molecule detection immunoassay is its simplicity and its consequential low cost of production. I believe the joint company is very well positioned to become one of the strongest players on the POC market, said Ulf Bladin, CEO of Prolight Diagnostics.