Member profile: Affinité Instruments
Affinité Instruments is a Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) for rapid testing company, focused on unleashing label-free sensing. This profile provides more details about the purpose of their testing, their involvement in COVID-19 research, and how being part of the GEDI Exchange will provide opportunities to “introduce more people to the power of portable SPR.”
In a short pitch, how would you describe Affinité Instruments’ offerings (products and services)? What makes it innovative? What industry sectors and/or customers are you focused on?
Affinité Instruments’ vision is to simplify assay development processing for protein and antibody characterization at biotech companies and research labs. Furthermore, Affinité’s SPR platform is portable, meaning it can be used anytime and anywhere. Its objective is to reduce the time and cost versus working with contract research organizations (CROs) and competing for greater and more expensive SPR equipment availability. Affinité Instruments is working with several life science companies to develop new rapid testing platforms. These platforms can be easily deployed, not just for infectious diseases screening, but also in areas of companion diagnostics and continuous bio-production quality control.
Providing more detail, what is the value proposition of Affinité Instruments’ offerings? Examples could include the underlying technology, new capabilities, cost reduction, risk reduction, improved performance, new business model, etc.
Affinité Instruments’ primary business focus is to provide accessibility to SPR as an economical rapid testing biosensor. Traditional SPR is a tried and tested technique for high-throughput automated molecular screening in the pharmaceutical industry. But their focus on drug discovery has led to the development of very complex and expensive SPR instruments. Through more than a decade of innovation in SPR development, Affinité Instruments has reduced the size and cost of deploying SPR in research labs and at start-ups. Therefore, scientists can benefit from the power of SPR biosensing without the need to make a massive upfront investment. SPR devices from Affinité Instruments provide ease of access to new clinical diagnostic and screening applications. This means new development with the same SPR advantages (i.e., sensitivity and speed of testing, and simplicity of sample preparation), which had been limited to drug discovery up until now. More than just an instrumentation provider, Affinité Instruments also works with life science companies and clinicians who want to develop faster assays for clinical testing or require portable SPR to combine with new surface chemistry and nanoprobes.
What is Affinité Instruments’ biggest achievement/success story to date?
Affinité Instruments was able to pivot to the forefront of COVID-19 research by collaborating with university researchers and the private sector to develop serological and rapid tests. One particular success story is the academic-industrial partnership at the onset of the pandemic with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rapid Research. It has contributed to a better understanding of the correlation between different stages of COVID-19 infection and immunity.
What does the future hold for Affinité Instruments?
In the short term, Affinité Instruments will continue our fight against COVID-19, supporting researchers and companies to understand vaccine efficacy through neutralizing antibodies testing. In the long term, Affinité Instruments will continue to seek partnerships to collaborate in areas of infectious diseases, anti-drug antibody detection, and biomanufacturing.
What is Affinité Instruments’ connection to the University of Waterloo?
Affinité Instruments was a spin-off from Université de Montréal but is strongly connected to the University of Waterloo. Several UWaterloo alumni and current students in both science and engineering are part of Affinité. Furthermore, Affinité Instruments has a very important Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) project with an engineering professor at Waterloo intending to simplify human biofluid sample preparation for point-of-care SPR tests.
Why did you decide to join the GEDI Exchange? What are you looking for? What do you want to get out of it?
For Affinité Instruments, being part of the GEDI Exchange creates tremendous partnership opportunities for local life science companies and University of Waterloo researchers well known for innovations in engineering and science. We seek opportunities for technology players who see the value of integrating Affinité’s portable SPR with their prospective technologies in rapid testing. As we have the chance to introduce more people to the power of portable SPR, we hope to provide new near-patient solutions in diagnostics and biomanufacturing.