2015 Venture Winner 2015 Science Start-ups (Falling Walls Venture)

Presented by
Yingfu Li

Nominated by

McMaster University


InnovoGENE provides an easy-to-use, fast and accurate way to identify pathogens at drastically reduced testing costs. The early, efficient and cost-effective detection of infectious diseases is becoming of increasing priority and urgency around the world, and even more so in developing countries that cannot afford the cost of modern healthcare. Most of the current detection methods are time consuming, labour-intensive, costly and require highly skilled personnel. InnovoGENE has developed highly versatile and practical sensors using a proprietary technology known as Fluorescent Signaling Aptazymes (FSAs). These FSAs synchronously perform three functions: target recognition, catalysis, and signal generation. The novel and unmatched advantage of our technology is the development of a simple, ‘mix-and-read’ type of assay that is faster to perform and easier to use. Unlike other common diagnostic methods, manual extraction of nucleic acids or protein biomarkers is not required. Minimal sample processing results in a straightforward test. In addition, our reagents are synthetic DNA, which in turn provides several practical benefits: our FSA probes can be produced at a low cost, with high batch-to-batch consistency, and a long shelf life.