New LSHTM spin-out company aims to improve detection and control of infectious diseases

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Two spin-out companies from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have merged to form a new company that will improve the detection and control of infectious diseases.

Bringing together the Arthropod Control Product Test Centre (ARCTEC) and Vecotech, Arctech Innovation aims to improve global health through the development of new products to tackle diseases like malaria and COVID-19.

ARCTEC is a world-renowned centre of excellence in entomology and vector control connecting the academic expertise at LSHTM with the needs of the industry, while Vecotech turns scientific discoveries into novel technologies to monitor and control insect pests and protect people living in disease-endemic countries.

The merger will enable the growth of Vecotech's existing innovation platform, which exploits the powerful odour detection capabilities of insects to develop disruptive public health products underpinned by the unique in-house product evaluation and clinical capabilities of ARCTEC.

The new company aims to be a world-leading innovation centre for breakthrough research, evaluation and commercialisation of new, game-changing products.

Arctech Innovation will be led by its CEO and co-founder, Professor James Logan from LSHTM. It will comprise three core divisions; innovation, contract research and social impact. It will  work closely with experts at LSHTM in hygiene, infectious diseases, virology, biological chemistry and epidemiology across these three divisions, including for its research studies and behaviour change programmes.

The merger of two LSHTM spin-outs into the new Arctech Innovation will allow us to develop exciting technologies, based on strong scientific research to help control and prevent the spread of diseases like malaria and COVID-19. The work of the company is strengthened by the link to world-class knowledge and expertise at LSHTM."

James Logan, Professor

Arctech Innovation's current work includes odour-based disease diagnostics for non-invasive real-time detection of malaria and COVID-19 infection, as well as products for the control of insect pests and disease vectors.

It will also continue to drive the growth of ARCTEC's Global Vector Hub - an online, open access information resource, network and data-sharing platform designed to support ongoing vector control research, preparedness and rapid responses to vector-borne disease outbreaks.

Arctech Innovation plans to expand the 'Healthy home, healthy family' programme, which uses mass mobile phone technology to inform vulnerable individuals on how to keep their homes safe from COVID-19, malaria and other life-threatening diseases. Since its launch in Mali last year, the programme has reached more than 4 million people through a public service helpline.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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