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Trajan Licenses Technology to Develop Microbiopsy Device

April 2022 — Trajan Scientific and Medical, (Trajan, ASX:TRJ) partnered with researchers at The University of Queensland (UQ) to develop a portable skin microbiopsy device that takes tissue samples smaller than 0.5mm in diameter. The device is designed with the aim of collecting biopsies for skin conditions, including skin cancers.

lightbox-harpera-solo-2-xtr-britThis microbiopsy technology was invented by researchers associated with UQ’s Faculty of Medicine Dermatology Research Centre, including Professor H. Peter Soyer, Professor Tarl Prow (now Director, Skin Research Centre, Hull York Medical School and University of South Australia) and Dr. Alex Ansaldo.

The microbiopsy technology under development could potentially allow the rapid collection of skin samples without local anesthetic or sutures. It will undergo final product development at Trajan, which recently licensed the device in a deal struck by UniQuest, UQ’s commercialization company.Harpera 2024_IM_4182-1 Why the shift to a “microbiopsy” technology? Professor Soyer explained that biopsies have traditionally been performed to diagnose suspected skin cancers and inflammatory skin conditions – a process that relies on routine histopathology for diagnostic interpretation.

“Conventional skin biopsies are usually 2-4mm in diameter, which means local anesthetic is required and one or two sutures needed to close the wound,” said Professor Soyer. “By contrast, this new microbiopsy device being developed is basically painless and leaves a tiny puncture site in the skin that heals in days.”

Professor Soyer added that the microbiopsy device being developed could potentially allow experts to analyze the molecular profile of a possible skin cancer or an inflammatory skin condition. The molecular information would be significant because it could open the door to biomarker profiling, dramatically improving diagnostic information for doctors and lead to future personalized medicine treatments. The less invasive microbiopsy device might also allow dermatologists to better monitor the progression of suspected skin cancers and other skin conditions over time, without the need for more invasive conventional biopsies.

Microbiopsy Device, TrajanThe new license agreement is the follow-up to an evaluation partnership that was announced by UniQuest and Trajan in 2017. Trajan’s Chief Scientific Officer, Andrew Gooley, PhD, expressed excitement over the news that the parties had reached the exclusive license agreement to further develop and take the microbiopsy device to market.

“The microbiopsy device has been in demand by research institutions investigating a range of skin conditions, including those in the global cosmetic and dermatology industry,” said Dr. Gooley. “This license agreement provides a pathway to the commercialization and manufacture of the device at high volume to meet the market demand.”

UniQuest CEO Dr. Dean Moss also expressed enthusiasm that UQ technology was being licensed to an Australian-based global company like Trajan. “As Australian skin cancer rates continue to increase, it’s reassuring to see a University of Queensland innovation commercialized to potentially support early detection and improve treatment outcomes for patients,” said Dr. Moss.

Trajan CEO, Stephen Tomisich confirmed Trajan’s strong commitment to microsampling, and explained that Neoteryx, the microsampling business unit of Trajan, would be selling the new microbiopsy device to customers, once development and regulatory protocols are completed.

“Our focus in microsampling has grown since we began this microbiopsy partnership in Queensland,” said Tomisich. “For example, Trajan recently acquired a market leader in blood microsampling, California-based Neoteryx, to bring its Mitra® device with VAMS® sampling technology into our portfolio alongside our own hemaPEN® development. Now a patented FDA and CE certified non-invasive tool, hemaPEN enables the collection of fixed and precise microsamples of blood for quantitative analysis of biomarkers. The new microbiopsy device we've licensed expands our microsampling offering to skin and cell sampling.”

Tomisich added that remote sampling is an essential element in progressing personalized, preventative and data-based healthcare. He reported that to help advance the trend toward personalized, data-based healthcare, Trajan is building its device portfolio and also its tools around the entire workflow, from consumer portals to laboratory automation, through to laboratory function.

About Trajan
Trajan is a global developer and manufacturer of analytical and life sciences products and devices founded to have a positive impact on human wellbeing through scientific measurement. These products and solutions are used in the analysis of biological, food, and environmental samples. Trajan has a portfolio and pipeline of new technologies which support the move towards decentralized, personalized data-based healthcare. Trajan is a global organization of 600 people, with seven manufacturing sites across the US, Australia, Europe and Malaysia, and operations in Australia, the US, Asia, and Europe. For information, visit: trajanscimed.com 

About UniQuest
UniQuest is the commercialization company of The University of Queensland (UQ). Working at the interface between industry and UQ’s researchers, UniQuest commercializes UQ’s intellectual property in partnership with UQ researchers to create societal and economic impact. Established in 1984, UniQuest’s commercialization activities have placed UQ at the forefront of academic research translation in Australia. For information, visit: uniquest.com.au

Media Contacts
UniQuest: Brooke Baskin, b.baskin@uniquest.com.au, +61 0409 767 199;
Trajan Scientific and Medical:
Andrea Quinlan, media@trajanscimed.com, +61 (0) 3 9837 4200.

Related Reading:

Lei,B.U.W.,et al.(2019)."Absorbent Microbiopsy Sampling and RNA Extraction for Minimally Invasive, Simultaneous Blood and Skin Analysis."JoVE (144): e58614.

Lin, L .L. and T.W. Prow (2017). "Novel microdevices for controlled blood and skin extraction, NHMRC." Impact 2017(6): 58-60.

Dermatology Research Centre, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland (March 2016), “Natural history and properties of naevi in advanced melanoma patients receiving treatment”, ACTRN 12616000272493 (ANZCTR).

Prow, T.W., et al. (2013). "The opportunity for microbiopsies for skin cancer." Future Oncol9 (9): 1241-1243.

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In some territories our devices are supplied for therapeutic or IVD use Outside of those territories our devices are supplied for research use only


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