Orla and JRC seek out bugs

Orla Protein Technologies is working with Japanese electronics manufacturer JRC to develop portable devices for doctors to test patients for bacteria and viruses


Newcastle University spinout Orla Protein Technologies is working with Japanese electronics manufacturer Japan Radio Co (JRC) to develop portable devices for doctors to test patients for bacteria and viruses.



Orla Protein Technologies, a company launched by Newcastle University in 2002 and based on research at its world-renowned Faculty of Medical Sciences, signed an agreement with JRC for the next stage in their ongoing development of a range of ground-breaking diagnostic devices.



The devices will be used by doctors and paramedics to perform tests at the patient’s bedside rather than in a laboratory, without the need for complex equipment. This will result in earlier and more effective treatment for patients and provide savings for healthcare providers.



Simple to use, small, low cost and portable, the devices will provide instant test results for viruses, bacteria and protein markers. Test results will be stored electronically and the devices will be able to transmit them wirelessly.



JRC is an established leader in the development of surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices which are currently used in mobile phones and other wireless electronic devices. Orla is pioneering the convergence of such technologies with life sciences applications, using its expertise in surface technology. The companies hope the collaboration will make mass manufacture of these bio-devices a reality.



Dr Dale Athey, chief executive of Orla and former business development manager at Newcastle University, said: ‘We are honoured to be working with such an established partner as Japan Radio. Their expertise in mass manufacture and sensor technology, combined with Orla’s novel biosurface technology provides a unique opportunity to create a leading position in the biodiagnostic marketplace.’