Worcestershire biotech Bio-Diagnostics Ltd struggles to persuade NHS to adopt its ‘bio card’

Bio-Diagnostics biocard

A Worcestershire biotech which has developed a “bio card” in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic is struggling to persuade the NHS to adopts its technology.

Last year, Bio-Diagnostics Ltd, which is headquartered in Upton-on-Severn, developed what it says is a “unique and highly accurate immunity test which checks for “spike” antibodies in the body.

These, according Bio-Diagnostics boss and immunologist, Simon Mico, can give a clear picture of immunity and could save the NHS precious time and money by identifying booster vaccines candidates among those whose immunity has waned, rather than spending millions vaccinating the entire population.

The immunity test is the only ultra-rapid test in the world with near-100 per cent accuracy, it said, and has been developed and manufactured in the UK at Bio-Diagnostics laboratories under UK regulations.

Simon funded the research and development of the BioCard himself, investing £250,000 by remortgaging his family home. But despite securing approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for his innovation, the NHS can’t use it because the company hadn’t gone through the fast-track system via Public Health England, (which it wasn’t invited to become a part of – and Public Health England itself was disbanded in October, and superseded by the UK Health Security Agency).

So the company has pivoted and is selling BioCard at cost to doctors and front-line clinicians, as well as to private individuals anxious about their immunity status.

Bio-Diagnostics’ Covid-19 bio card is based on the company’s QuickCard, a unique innovation by the company’s R&D department, solving the key challenge of reducing a traditional process taking three hours using laboratory-based instruments, down to five minutes without necessarily requiring any instrumentation, power, or a laboratory at all. This ultra-rapid test system can be developed for virtually any disease or analyte and as a point of care (POC) device could be used in virtually any environment in the world, from a laboratory with using a serum, to a field location using whole blood.

For Cov19, QuickCard has been redeveloped with both physical and biochemical adaptations to become the BioCard ™, a patented IVD which remains unique in the market in achieving the speed and sensitivity for this kind of laboratory diagnostic, says Bio-Diagnostics.

These credit-card sized tests can be completed within minutes, require no instrumentation and are the only available rapid tests for the detection of autoimmune disease.