Spanish Start-up fundraising for diagnostic kit for leukemia and cancer research

Posted on: 01 Dec 2016

Spanish Start-up fundraising for diagnostic kit for leukemia and cancer research

A Spanish start-up incubated in Ireland wants to develop a diagnostic kit for acute myeloid leukemia similar to a pregnancy test

  • Five scientists start a crowdfunding campaign to kick off their new project
  • “We want to diagnose, and in the long term, cure, many types of cancer”, they explain
  • Up to 20% of the pledged amount will be donated to Breakthrough Cancer Research and the spanish foundation Unoentrecienmil

To diagnose acute myeloid leukemia with a diagnostic kit similar to a pregnancy test. This is the goal of Moirai Biodesign, a spanish startup formed by a group of scientists experts in biomedicine that was born with the ambition to improve human health. 


To develop this diagnostic kit for the acute myeloid leukemia Moirai Biodesign has started a crowdfunding campaing at the Indiegogo platform ( Up to 20% of the amount pledged will be donated to the Breakthrough Cancer Research and the Unoentrecienmil foundations, who fight against childhood leukemia and many other types of cancer.


“Moirai Biodesign was founded by 5 PhDs, qualified professionals who sum up more than 30 years of combined research experience. Our first project is the development of a diagnostic kit for acute myeloid leukemia: fast, low-cost and biopsy free, that does not need lab equipment for its use. Long term, we plan to diagnose and cure many types of cancer. We aim to save time, save money and save lives”, explains Amadis Pages, one of the co-founders.


“In leukemia and other types of cancer, tumoral cells are characterized by certain molecules that do not exist in healthy cells: the so called biomarkers. Our diagnostic device will be capable of detecting those biomarkers in the blood of the patient. It will work like a pregnancy test”, he claims.


They explain the underlying technology: “The diagnostic kit will work thanks to our Plug and Play RNA technology, a molecule with two components: the sensor, that detects a biomarker, and the trigger, that changes the color of a reactive paper strip. The whole molecule works in a way that the trigger is activated only if the sensor detects the biomarker”.


Apart from lowering the costs and accelerating the diagnostic process, this non-invasive device will work with the blood of the patient, and therefore there will be no need for a biopsy. This diagnostic kit will be extremely helpful for countries with limited resources and field hospitals.


In the future, the founders of the company also want to use the Plug and Play RNA technology to develop cancer therapies and tumoral cell identification methods capable of assist doctors in surgical tumor removal.


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