A biophotonics licence agreement has been established between the University of St Andrews in Scotland and laser and photonics company, M Squared Lasers, with an aim to develop new technologies to detect and treat conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
The newly signed IPR Technology Transfer Agreement covers a portfolio of more than 100 patents, which researchers will use to develop commercial applications for the health sector. The suite of patents encompasses biotechnology areas including microfluidics, particle fractionation and sorting, optical tweezing, cell poration, imaging and Raman spectroscopic analysis techniques.
One area that the team will focus on is the use of Raman techniques for accurately distinguishing between normal and unhealthy cells and tissue, which would be beneficial for the treatment of cancer.
As part of the agreement, scientists will also use photonics technologies to research how the brain works, helping to extend our understanding of neurological diseases, explained Professor Kishan Dholakia from the University of St Andrews explains: ‘More broadly we’ll be looking to unlock new information about how the human brain works. Through the use of advanced compact imaging platforms, which minimise damage through laser exposure, we hope to highlight cellular processes that could lead to an improved understanding of neural networks and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
‘And while we’re becoming more adept at developing lasers with higher specifications and quality, we still need to continually improve the way we characterise their performance, which is another area of research included in this suite of licensed technology.’
Playing into a multi-billion dollar sector, this deal is projected to bring seven figure returns to both the University of St Andrews and M Squared Lasers over the period of commercialisation of these technologies. Both parties are now looking to engage with approaches for applications of biophotonics technology from other companies in Scotland, the UK and internationally.
Commenting on the agreement, Dr Graeme Malcolm OBE, CEO of M Squared Lasers commented: ‘This new partnership presents the opportunity to match our existing knowledge with relevant academic research, something which we hope will lead to significant developments for the health sector.
‘By focusing on practical applications for laser-based biophotonic products we’re aiming to develop new products with other companies in Scotland, the UK and internationally.’
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