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Sarissa Biomedical

University Dept. / Industry Sector

Biology / Neurophysiology

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Sarissa Biomedical

Founded: 2003

SIC code (UK 1992)

3310, 3320

Relevant Patents


COAP / Company Number

00035 / 04581254


Dr. Shum Prakash
02476 765 75491


Case Study



Sarissa Biomedical produces novel biosensors for measurement of purines, this further providing the tools for the physiological and clinical scientific community to advance understanding of the functions of ATP and adenosine.

The company will produce a range of extremely sensitive microsensors (Sarissa Microsensors? ) and macrosensors (Sarissa Macrosensors? ) based on novel technology developed at the University of Warwick.

The technology will be exploited through a spin out company Sarissa Biomedical Limited, which will fabricate finished test kits and sensors and market the products worldwide directly and through alliances.

The initial focus of the technology will be medical research laboratories engaged in neurological science where sensors are inserted directly into tissue. It is expected that the technology will lead to highly profitable disposable products for detection of life threatening medical conditions, through development of the Sarissa Macrosensor? , point of care blood tests will be developed.

The Product/Technology

The academic group of Prof. Nick Dale has been involved in brain and neurological research for many years. In the field of neurophysiology, rapid measurement of neurotransmitter chemicals or signaling agents, such as glutamate and dopamine, is a key technique to study the biochemical processes. Biosensors, particularly micro-biosensors have been used in the neurophysiology field for some years. They offer rapid response to selected agents and in the microform are minimally invasive, limiting tissue damage, improving the quality of the results.

Prof. Dale has developed technology that allows new levels of sensor robustness and sensitivity with significantly reduced surface area, radically reducing tissue damage during use. New polymer synthesis and coating technology have been developed by the Warwick team that enables, for the first time, real time in vivo testing to be accomplished. The technology has a wide potential range of applications and can be scaled up to make a macrosensor for use by clinicians and possibly the general public. Potential exists for this technology to allow new biomarkers to be established that can used to help the general public monitor themselves in the prevention of illness. This is a similar concept to the test kits manufactured to measure the biomarker cholesterol.

A patent application has been filed professionally in the UK (April 2002), and is wholly owned by the University of Warwick. It is believed that the patent will be granted. Patent protection will be sought in the key target markets, the EU, Japan and the USA. The University will license or assign the patent to Sarissa Medical Limited.

The technology has been proven to work repetitively in the laboratory and a paper has been submitted and accepted for publication by a prestigious journal in the field.

Key Personnel

Dr. Shum Prakash (Business Development Manager)
Dr Prakash is the interim general manager and has a wide range of experience with commercialising technologies. Dr Gibson is the business development manager specialising in the biosensor sector, with a track record of taking biosensors to market. Professor Dale is a leader in the international field of neurophysiology.

Market Position

The market size was calculated by examining the amount of published scientific literature on the target biomarkers in the neurophysiology field. Searches on two different databases gave similar numbers of papers published. Averages of the figures were used to produce the estimates. Allowing 1 laboratory publishing 1 paper per year we estimated that about 1400 laboratories were active in purine research and about 2200 in glutamate work.

Based on figures collected from UK Bandolier web site, we have estimates of the numbers needed to treat (NNTs) for the target illness. Data collated from 8 studies averaged 5128 subjects in recent trials. Using an assumption that each person is tested 25 times during the course of the study and that we have an increasing number of trials we estimate that by 2006 we would require a minimum of 500000 blood sensors.

Extensive market research has been unable to identify any companies currently manufacturing and marketing commercial ultra-micro-biosensor devices of any type. These inventions have created products with improved sensitivity, which offers lower levels of local tissue damage and much longer life.

Opportunity Proposal

Sarissa Biomedical will build its competitive advantage by keeping the patented technology within the company and outsourcing activities that require a lower level of technical competence. Initially sales will be made of a test kit that contains all the necessary elements to manufacture Sarissa Microsensors™ locally, avoiding concerns over product shelf life. After we have completed our quality and scale up procedures we will offer the finished Sarissa Microsensor™ at a premium price to those of our customers seeking to eliminate local manufacture using the test kit.

We see this micro-technology as an ’enabling’ technology to open up larger market opportunities for the Sarissa Macrosensor™ in large volume applications. We have identified a partner to exploit this opportunity but successful clinical trials will probably result in a further marketing / production alliance with a major medical device / test kit supplier.

About our micro-sensors:

· They are so small and streamline they do not damage brain tissue when obtaining results - producing more accurate and reliable results in comparison to conventional biosensors.

· The accuracy of the sensors is improved as they can locate the exact point where the purines are released.

· They produce a strong signal producing the ability to measure even the smallest levels of purines.