Vivacta gears up for pilot manufacture of piezofilm assays

10 July 2008

In vitro diagnostics company Vivacta is gearing up for pilot manufacture of its highly sensitive, disposable piezofilm sensors for point of care (PoC) diagnostics. It is acquiring an extra 6,000 sq ft of space within its facility at Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne, UK, and appointing an experienced engineering manager.

Doubling the size of its operation will allow Vivacta to establish a fully equipped cartridge pilot facility. This will act as a process development resource for both its own Development Group and its technology licensees.

The new facility's main role will be to develop and optimise the process of cartridge manufacture as well as producing batches of up to 10,000 cartridges for internal evaluation and external clinical trials. Vivacta is already evaluating the first PoC application of its patented piezofilm technology, for the measurement of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

To run the new facility, Vivacta has appointed Stafford Moss, as Engineering Manager. Stafford brings a wealth of experience to the new operation, having held a similar position at Genosis, a point-of-care fertility testing business.

Commenting on this latest stage of Vivacta's development, Neil Butler, CEO, said, "When we raised $12 million from a successful Series B financing round in 2007, we said it would be used to drive forward the commercialisation and launch of our first point of care (PoC) immunoassay system.

"Acquiring the necessary space for the creation for our Cartridge Pilot Facility, together with the appointment of Stafford Moss, takes us another major step closer to the launch of our first commercial assay and harnessing the speed and sensitivity of our piezofilm technology."

In addition to Mr Moss, Vivacta will be recruiting 10 extra staff over the next nine months as the new facility ramps up its manufacturing and quality control functions.

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