GaDia SA, a Valais-based start-up specializing in the development of diagnostic tests, and HES-SO Valais-Wallis are to collaborate on the development of a new-generation rapid test for the detection of fungal infections such as Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis (IPA). This research project is supported by Innosuisse, the Swiss innovation promotion agency, to the tune of CHF 350,000.
Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis is a serious infectious disease caused by a fungus that affects immunocompromised patients. The number of cases of Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis has risen sharply in recent years, mainly in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 3 million people at risk worldwide. Mortality from these infections, if treated late, can reach over 80%. A rapid, easy-to-use test would therefore be of great clinical benefit, and would greatly reduce mortality from these infections.
The year-and-a-half-long project will be carried out in two phases, starting with the development and production of innovative reagents and components at HES-SO Valais-Wallis, followed by their integration into a COVID-type rapid test and validation of the final product by GaDia. If successful, the startup, based at the BioArk technology site in Monthey and supported by the Ark Foundation, GaDia, will market this new rapid test, which will enable doctors to diagnose APIs more easily and quickly than with current tests carried out in central laboratories.
The HES-SO Valais-Wallis and GaDia SA have already been collaborating for over 2 years, with a number of successes to their credit, including a new test for bacterial infections. The continuation of this collaboration draws on a unique portfolio of skills in synthetic chemistry, microbiology and diagnostic analytics at HES-SO Valais-Wallis on the one hand, and GaDia SA’s know-how and experience in the development and manufacture of rapid diagnostic tests on the other.
Source: HES-SO Valais-Wallis press release