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The challenge

Blood tests are inefficient

Q-Sera wanted to improve the effectiveness of blood tests. A regular blood test doesn’t actually test your blood, but the plasma your red blood cells are housed in. Coagulation agents are used to clot the blood and separate blood cells from plasma.

A scientist dressed in face mask and PPE operates a machine that coats tubes for blood tests in a special formula that helps induce the coagulation of blood. ©  CSIRO, Nick Pitsas

But previous coagulation agents were inefficient; they wouldn’t work if a patient was on some medications or basic anti-coagulation agents. Q-Sera developed their own coagulant, RAPClot. This new pro-coagulant worked fast, was much more consistent, and was based on snake venom.

However, Q-Sera was coming up against challenges refining RAPClot formulations, and manufacturing coagulant coated blood collection tubes at the level required to make an impact on the industry. Q-Sera saw an opportunity to partner with us through our Kick-Start program, and the result was the start of a new partnership.

Our response

Making a better coagulant

First we helped optimise the RAPClot formulation, refining it to be more effective. Then we added additives to RAPClot to make coating test tubes easier without affecting results.

We also modified existing machines to coat blood collection tubes with RAPClot for Q-Sera. The blood collection tubes have the coagulant inside so the sample can start clotting once taken from the patient.

The results

A whole RAPClot workflow

Q-Sera received additional funding and support from us through our Kick-Start program. After looking at Q-Sera and RAPClot we could see the value of their mission and wanted to help in any way we could.

The research and development went so well the trial was extended and we now have an entire production pipeline. Q-Sera can put in an order of RAPClot blood collection tubes and we can turn their order around, tested and ready to go, within a week. Using existing machines means another organisation could easily start manufacturing their own RAPClot coated blood tubes as well.

RAPClot has now been patented in both China and the US, further growing Q-Sera’s potential market. Now they have an innovative new product patented in multiple markets, and they can drop in an order with us whenever they need stock to meet demand.

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