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Manufacturing and Distribution

RBS has a collaboration agreement with Ortho Clinical Diagnostics – a Johnson & Johnson Company. Under the agreement, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics will have an option on worldwide exclusive rights to commercialize the TB Breathalyser which is a device capable of detecting TB in less than 2 minutes from taking a cough sample.

Future Applications

RBS retains all its intellectual property rights to collaborate with other organisations on new applications for the biosensor technology. The company has made considerable progress in adapting the technology to analyse liquid as well as aerosol samples, which will significantly broaden the potential applications for the solution. In particular, RBS has identified new market opportunities: sputum-based TB diagnostic testing, testing for bovine TB, testing for E. Coli in food and testing for malaria.

Sputum-based TB diagnosis: RBS is applying its patented technology to provide a rapid, laboratory-based test to replace the sputum smear and culture test. RBS’s established USPs – ease of use, rapid availability of results, and low cost – will differentiate the RBS TB sputum test from current methods. At the time of writing, RBS proof-of-principle designs indicate that it will be possible to detect TB in sputum taken from actively infectious people, especially those in the early stages. The results would be available in minutes.

Rapid testing for bovine TB: Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is highly contagious, reducing yields, especially of milk. Besides cattle, the disease is also found in other species, particularly deer and badgers. It was thought to have been largely eradicated in the UK by the 1970s, but it returned in the early 1980s and is now established in the Midlands, southwest and Wales. Around 2,000 cases are confirmed each year. RBS has completed proof-of-principle design for fluid/blood collector hardware and will shortly begin testing on animals.

Testing for E. Coli: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 73,000 cases of E. Coli 0157:H7 occur every year in the USA alone, with 2,100 patients being hospitalised and 61 dying as a direct result of E. Coli infection.

Testing for malaria: According to the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, some 2.24 billion people - more than 41% of the world's population - are at risk of acquiring malaria, and up to 3 million people will die each year from the disease. Approximately 2,000 cases occur every year in travellers returning to the UK from malaria-endemic countries. RBS’s technology development programme will establish its ability to differentiate its products from competitors by offering competitive pricing for more accurate and rapid tests.