Creoptix backs scientist developing antibody test

Medical analysis

Swiss company Creoptix, which received series C funding in September and focuses on next-generation bioanalysis, is supporting Professor Adriano Aguzzi, Professor for Neuropathology at University of Zurich, in developing Covid-19 antibody tests.

Aguzzi and his team want to understand who has already been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and might be therefore immune. To identify these antibodies in blood samples, the Creoptix WAVEsystem – a sensitive label-free, bioanalytical instrument that enables antibody detection in even pure serum or plasma – will be used.

“The threat posed by Covid-19 demands immediate actions to better understand the mechanisms of this virus in humans. We at Creoptix are tremendously excited and proud to support the efforts of Professor Aguzzi and his team, who are working on the front lines,” said Line Stigen Raquet, CEO of Creoptix. “We are committed to enabling hospitals and clinical researchers with high performance solutions to characterise binding affinity and kinetics of antibodies on SARS-CoV-2 in conditions closer to real-life. The WAVE system's combination of sensitivity and robustness may prove crucial in shedding light on antibody binding in serum and plasma.”

Creoptix aims to accelerate diagnostic research and help understand immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, the company said. 

“We are fascinated by the idea that our technology could provide new insights in serological testing, guidance in the response to the pandemic and protection of the public’s health,” commented Stigen Raquet.

“Antibodies are formidable weapons against viruses and that’s the basis of all vaccines. However, antibodies can also facilitate the entry of viruses into cells, thereby causing friendly fire. One determinant of such behaviours is the affinity of antibodies for their targets,” explained Aguzzi. “In collaboration with Creoptix, we strive to determine the affinity of antisera from COVID-19 patients for their targets. We hope that such investigation may help understand why some patients recover fully from COVID-19 whereas others develop lethal disease.”

Searching for immunological responses to SARS-CoV-2 involves detecting IgA, IgM and IgG antibodies, which signal whether an individual has been exposed to the Coronavirus.

Finding reliable immunity tests is viewed as crucial for managing and mitigating the spread of Covid-19, and a key component in the effort to reopen economies crippled by lockdowns. 

“We’re interested in the idea of being able to determine who could, for example, safely go out to work because he/she has developed enough immunity. That would mean that key workers, such as doctors, nurses, teachers, can go back to work and can continue the important work they are doing, and help us overcome this crisis,” said Stigen Raquet.

It is unclear when results of the research will materialise. “It is too early to give a definitive timeline, but we are working on this project with the priority it deserves,” she added. 

Stigen Raquet continued: “A more thorough characterisation of antibodies on SARS-CoV-2 will help us answer the availability and rollout questions at a later stage. At the moment our main focus is to fully characterize immunological responses with the capacity we have. This scale up of the capacity, however, is constantly in the back of our heads and has a clear path for us.”