GEDI Exchange

Member profile: ChitoLytic Diagnostics

ChitoLytic device and blood cells

Acquiring the latest paper-based lab-in-hand point-of-care diagnostic technologies, ChitoLytic Diagnostics is accelerating them to market. This is to enable better delivery of healthcare with a biotech model that reduces research and development risks, costs, and timeline to commercialization. ChitoLytic discusses this and their connection to the University of Waterloo.

In a short pitch, how would you describe your ChitoLytic Diagnostics' offerings (products and services)? What makes it innovative? What industry sectors and/or customers are you focused on?

ChitoLytic Diagnostics (CD) makes diagnostic health tests and information accessible to who and where it’s needed to improve and save lives. Our innovative and transformative technology is a paper-based diagnostics platform that has the potential to revolutionize medical diagnostics globally. The solution is convenient, extremely portable, easy-to-use, affordable, and AI-enabled.

Providing more detail, what is the value proposition of your ChitoLytic Diagnostics' offerings? Examples could include the underlying technology, new capabilities, cost reduction, risk reduction, improved performance, new business model, etc.

Our paper-based microfluidic diagnostics platform technology (µPAD) enables nucleic acid (molecular) testing devices that can be used in long-term care facilities, in the home, at businesses, schools, events, doctor’s offices, and elsewhere. Test results are provided in less than 30 minutes. These paper-based devices are offered at an extremely low price, are very simple to use, and provide centralized-laboratory-accuracy. It moves complicated, costly testing from the lab to the palm of your hand where tests can be taken reliably without instrumentation, electric or battery power, or skilled labour.  These “Lab-in-Hand” diagnostic tests can be taken anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.

They also are AI-enabled. Though test results are easily readable on the device, they also can be digitalized, quantified, and shared over the internet by taking a picture of the results with a cell phone.

What is your ChitoLytic Diagnostics' biggest achievement/success story to date?

CD has amassed a multinational team consisting of cross-disciplinary deep-domain expertise necessary to develop and bring medical devices to market. This includes in-house science teams in Canada, USA, India, and the University of Waterloo. This comprehensive team consists of leading experts within their respective domains of biosensing, surface chemistry, biomaterials, biopolymer, molecular, infectious diseases, medical device regulations, and GMP manufacturing.

Our first test detects the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus in a saliva sample. The device is 75mm x 25mm in size, made of paper, and fits in your hand. It provides a positive /negative answer in less than 30 minutes “on-the-device”.  It’s affordable and provides molecular-accurate results anywhere, anytime, for anybody.  Our second test is a combination COVID-19 / Influenza A&B test with the same features.

What does the future hold for ChitoLytic Diagnostics?

CD will continue work with prospective customers to launch our devices onto the Canadian and international markets.  There is a large opportunity for our devices in Canada and other developed countries by making them available to the general population, the work and play-place, governments, and to healthcare professionals who all seek more accurate, simple to use, affordable, and rapid testing.  CD is also focused on entering markets in the developing world. Here our devices can have a significant impact on hundreds of millions of lives where there is very limited access to accurate centralized laboratory molecular testing.  

The platform is built on paper and proven technology that can detect the genetic material (DNA and/or RNA) of any virus, bacteria, any other pathogen, or living organism. It detects from various types of samples, such as saliva, a prick of blood, sweat, urine, etc. The platform is clinically proven, has broad applicability, and can be easily adapted to many different infectious and non-communicable diseases, indications, and health conditions. It can be used for detecting diseases, pollutants, and conditions in humans, animals, plants, and the environment. Therefore, we continue to develop and expand our technology into new areas of application and testing.

What is your ChitoLytic Diagnostics' connection to the University of Waterloo?

CD works with the UWaterloo department of chemistry and with faculty members of the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN). They are integral to the development of our paper-based technologies. CD will explore additional AI capabilities for our devices through a collaboration with AI researchers at UWaterloo.

Why did ChitoLytic Diagnostics decide to join the GEDI Exchange? What are you looking for? What do you want get out of it?

We are enthusiastic to be a member of the UWaterloo ecosystem that connects us with potential customers, partners, and UWaterloo’s renowned research community. We are pleased to see other UWaterloo-affiliated life sciences companies in the GEDI Exchange. We look forward to opportunities for exposure that the GEDI Exchange can provide.  

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