IATROQUEST ANNOUNCES INVESTMENT FROM IN-Q-TEL TO ENHANCE BIOSENSING FOR US GOVERNMENT CUSTOMERS
March 11, 2004
IatroQuest Corporation, a leading developer of advanced biosensing technologies based in Montreal, Canada, announced today that it has signed a deal with In-Q-Tel, a private not for profit venture capital group funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). IatroQuest will work with In-Q-Tel to enhance and customize its Bio-Alloy™ technology to better meet national security needs. Made possible by the convergence of biotechnology, advanced semi-conductor materials, nanotechnology and photonics, Bio-Alloy™ can rapidly detect and identify a wide range of biological and chemical agents, without labels and with a high degree of sensitivity and selectivity.
IatroQuest’s Bio-Alloy™ biochips are made of silicon-based semiconductor materials that are nanostructured and chemically modified to bind to a wide variety of molecules, including antibodies, enzymes, nucleotides and chemicals as recognition elements. The underlying detection principle, based on a photoluminescence response, relies on quantum confinement and changes in the surface energy states when the material is excited with low-power blue LED light. Upon affinity binding of target agents to the recognition elements linked to the Bio-Alloy™ surface, surface energy perturbations result in an immediate change in the photoluminescence response, which is easily detected as an increase in green light intensity.
In addition to demonstrating real time sensitive detection (in the picogram, 10–12 range) and identification capabilities, Bio-Alloy™ has several other key technological advantages such as being a label-free method which increases the simplicity of use and reduces the logistical supply requirements and operating costs, supporting both capture and functional assays, exhibiting low non-specific binding, having concentration-dependent response, being multiplexing-friendly, providing non-destructive detection, and having low power requirements.
“Imagine how a smoke detector triggers an alarm that results in immediate preventive action. Likewise, IatroQuest’s technology will be a critical enabling component that can be used to rapidly detect and improve response times for other environmental hazards in air or water,” said Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel.
“IatroQuest’s ability to match the sensitivity of today’s laboratory methods at much lower cost and power can revolutionize biodefense and commercial diagnostic capabilities,” stated John Schafer, CEO of IatroQuest. “IatroQuest is pleased to be working with In-Q-Tel,” added Jean Bourbonnais, President and Chief Business Officer of IatroQuest, “We see this new relationship as a major accomplishment and a sign of the importance of our technology in the defense and intelligence communities. We look forward to even more growth as a result of our partnership with In-Q-Tel.”
About IatroQuest Corporation
IatroQuest Corporation (www.iatroquest.com) is shaping the future of biosensing using a revolutionary patented technological platform called Bio-Alloy™, which combines biotechnology, advanced semi-conductor materials, nanotechnology and photonics. Bio-Alloy™ makes a wide range of products possible in several market segments, such as biodefense, life sciences research and point-of-care diagnostics. Bio-Alloy™ has unique characteristics that enable rapid detection and quantification, with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity without using markers, of a wide range of biological agents as well as small chemical molecules.