Maarten Merkx receives ERC Proof of Concept
Maarten Merkx received the ERC Proof of Concept grant for a new way of antibody diagnostics. The grant of €150.000,- is meant to help this new way, developed by Merkx, towards commercial application. The grant is meant for research with a potential of commercial success.
With antibody diagnostics you can find for example infectious diseases, auto immune diseases or allergies by proving the presence of antibodies in the blood. Current technologies however need much time and complex equipment.
The new technology that Merkx developed can take over several steps, like immobilizing the virus, getting in contact with the blood, washing, binding of antibodies and detecting the signal, with just one protein. This protein can even work on several antibodies. This makes the test simple and cheap. Besides, the test can be more practical. The test could look like a pregnancy test, so you can easily determine whether a disease is present or not. Because of this, the test could be used in developing countries.
At this moment the enzyme is made that can prove the presence of antibodies with a simple color change. The enzyme is tested on antibodies that are present with HIV, part of the flu virus and dengue. The last one seems to be interesting for the commercial market.
The grant is meant for the first steps the commercialize this product. The money is for a year, after which you could find investors or request a patent.