Auckland-based medical diagnostics company Pictor has scored its first major commercial deal, signing a licensing and distribution deal for its low-cost blood testing kit 10 years after the business started out in the founders’ garage.
It took a few years, but Anand and Serita Kumble finally found the problem they were looking for.The couple, originally from India, left Stanford University with a lot of knowledge about miniaturising and multiplexing technologies that were connected to the university’s participation in the Human Genome Project.
New Zealand-based Dr Sarita Kumble and Dr Anand Kumble wanted to create an affordable diagnostic test platform that could be deployed in those parts of the world with the highest need. The two, who completed their PhD from Mumbai, India, also had first-hand experience of the Indian healthcare system to know that improving healthcare among the rural and urban poor of developing nations required technologies and products that are extremely cost-effective, simple-to-use and readily available.
No sector has greater potential to make a significant contribution to Auckland’s growth than biotechnology. The industry will contribute about $200 million to the economic output of the Super City and the region accounts for more than half the country’s biotech sector in terms of companies and jobs.
We all know the rigmarole required for lab tests. So Anand and Sarita Kumble have done us all a favour by inventing a way to do multiple tests from a single drop of blood – and all it requires is a disposable testing kit and an office scanner.
An Auckland-based biochemist couple’s innovative new technology is set to simplify and quicken the way immuno-diagnostic tests are conducted both in humans and animals across the world – at costs far less than existing methods.
From their tiny Auckland office, doctors Sarita and Anand Kumble are toasting their latest success. The founders of biotech company Pictor recently signed deals with partners in India and Europe to test their unique technology, which can screen for a range of diseases from just a drop of blood. All that’s required is the 2.5cm by 7.5cm test screening kit, a computer with the customised software and a flatbed scanner.