Tor 23 maj / År 42 / Nr 1 2024

From dogs to horses – to humans?

Further development of LifeAssays’ user-friendly point-of-care system for detecting infection in animals has resulted in an important breakthrough. As from early spring this year, the LifeAssay Haptoglobin measurement tool is being applied and evaluated by horse training centres in Sweden. In addition, the company is pursuing the long-term goal of expanding outside of the Nordic countries.

The LifeAssay blood analysis tools have been developed and continuously refined by the team at the company over the years. Based on today’s more or less common knowledge that early detection of diseases may well be the difference between life and death, research continues at LifeAssays in order to broaden the application of its products and measurement tools.

A critical step
LifeAssays was established almost 15 years ago with the aim of further developing a patented technology developed by university researchers. The final product, a point-of-care system for obtaining quick and accurate diagnosis, is used to detect diseases in both animals and humans by measuring protein activity using magnetism.
The company’s products have been widely used among veterinarians across the Nordic countries for the last five years. Entering the US market last year was a critical and necessary step for the company to become a global player focusing on the veterinarian market. Recently extending the test system to, in addition to tests for dogs, now also include tests for cats as well as high performing horses, has resulted in an increase in sales across the LifeAssay markets.

From dogs to horses
The core product is marketed as the LifeAssays VetReader. It offers veterinary practitioners a quick and safe way to generate results of the same quality in their own practice, as they would have gotten if they sent the samples to larger service laboratories. The difference being that the result is available in 15 minutes and can guide the veterinarian in their treatment decision when the pet is still by their side.
An interesting step was taken in introducing the VetReader to a much broader market segment, including Equine Haptoglobin, a customised tool for testing horses. Initially, a select few partners have been handpicked in Sweden to test and evaluate the system.
The LifeAssay system has also been tested and evaluated in human care at community healthcare centres and by primary physicians. As CEO Anders Ingvarsson points out, the goal of LifeAssays is however to expand within human diagnostics through a strong partner. ”We offer a unique, accurate and safe technology platform for early disease detection that can be further developed by the right partner to large-scale application within human care”, he says.

Based on Swedish research
LifeAssays is headquartered at the Ideon Science Park in Lund. With close proximity to many other technology-intensive companies, many of which also actively pursuing the Life Science-field, LifeAssays is able to quickly make contact with potential partners. The company’s existing contact network is extremely important for further expansion.
The innovation behind the LifeAssays systems is yet another example of Swedish research expertise made into successful applications within Life Science.