Pictor, a biotech company reports following a new investment of $6.1 million (NZD $8.8 million), today they announced a partnership with U.S. laboratory service provider Mobility Health, launching a new antibody test as an important advance in COVID-19 monitoring and treatment.
The investment, led by former Morrison & Co CEO Marko Bogoievski and specialist growth investor K One W One Ltd. (K1W1), will support market and product development of the new antibody test and other Pictor in vitro diagnostics.
This first of its kind test, Pictor’s PictArrayTM SARS-CoV-2 assay, will enable high efficacy personalized COVID-19 assessments by detecting if a patient has antibodies from a previous infection of SARS-CoV-2 (from spike protein (SP) and nucleocapsid protein (NP) antibodies) or from vaccination alone (SP antibodies only). It will also indicate whether at-risk patients have failed to mount a detectable antibody response despite vaccination or infection (SP and NP negative).
“The PictArray™ SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test is a high performance, all-in-one, NP/SP COVID-19 antibody test with serological differentiation. This is the only known test that separately measures antibodies from vaccines and SARS-CoV-2 infection in one test,” explained Pictor’s Chief Medical Officer Tadd Lazarus, MD. “The separate detection of SP and NP enables more precise clinical intervention.” Due to its ability to differentiate between natural and vaccine-based antibodies, the PictArray test is an advancement with critical applications including vaccine development.
“Pictor is pleased to partner with Mobility Health to offer such a unique and important test,” said Howard Moore, CEO of Pictor. “We are also incredibly grateful to Marko Bogoievski and Sir Stephen Tindall’s investment company K1W1 for their leadership in this investment. We now have the capital for further market development and launches within the United States, India, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU.”
Mobility Health founder and CEO Sandra Gunselman, Ph.D. expressed her own excitement about the launch of the PictArrayTM test: “This best-in-class technology offers each patient a personalized status of his or her protection against COVID-19. This is an important new tool in the enduring fight against COVID-19 and advances our mission of providing access to innovative new products.”
The COVID-19 pandemic remains a healthcare concern as new strains of the virus have emerged. According to recent data, COVID-19 cases are up significantly in many US states as well as in Europe and the UK. According to a March 31st statement by the World Health Organization in its weekly epidemiological update: “COVID-19 remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and it is too early to reduce the quality of surveillance.”
Sir Stephen Tindall’s New Zealand investment company K1W1 and the former Morrison & Co. CEO Bogoievski led the round of funding, which involved 20 investors, bringing Pictor’s overall capital raised to $17 million (NZD $24.6 million). It was one in a series of funding rounds resulting from Pictor’s commitment to expanding manufacturing and R&D capabilities, not only in New Zealand, Europe, and India but in the U.S. where Pictor recently established headquarters.