AI-enabled biotech company OmniScope Ltd has today announced the start of research and development of a medical diagnostics tool for COVID-19 in Malta, facilitated by the financial support of €1 million from Malta Enterprise.

The research and development places Malta at the centre of an international collaboration, with a Malta-based team of experts in AI and computational biology teaming up with OmniScope’s Spanish expert collaborator in genomics, and OmniScope’s state-of-the-art manufacturing partner in Singapore.

“Our desire is for our cutting-edge technology to be of service to the global community in these challenging times of heightened emerging pandemic risks,” said scientific co-founder Dr Holger Heyn, renowned scientist and Team Leader at the National Centre for Genomic Analysis. Going on to comment on the financial support by Malta Enterprise, he adds, “this financial support represents a true collaboration between nations to invest in much needed innovation. We aim to apply science to rapidly bring solutions we so urgently need right now.”

Dr Heyn highlighted that OmniScope’s first product, OmniScan, seeks to become a universal diagnostic tool that listens to the immune system to broadly detect disease at the earliest stages through simple, minimally invasive clinical tests.

Meanwhile, commercial co-founder Vijay Vaswani views the opportunity the Malta Enterprise financial support provides through both a personal and professional lens, maintaining that “the financial support represents a major growth opportunity for both OmniScope and my home country of Malta. Malta will be playing a central role in our international expansion. My great-grandfather came to Malta as a refugee in the early 1900s. OmniScope’s Malta operations are my way of giving back to Malta and expressing my gratitude, as his great-grandson. I’m proud to support the growth of talent, investment, and entrepreneurial opportunities in the country that has had such a profound impact on my life.”

On his part, Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia commented, “we are thrilled that Malta will be part of this ambitious project that will be involving high calibre researchers and business experts from Europe, Asia, the Americas and beyond. As Malta Enterprise, we remain at the forefront to assist start-ups who want to carry out R&D with the aim of commercialising their final product and service. OmniScope’s decision to invest in Malta confirms that we have a strong and very competitive proposition for all those who want to engage in highly innovative projects. We look forward to seeing this highly disruptive startup expand its operations in Malta. Malta Enterprise remains committed to attracting more highly innovative startups.”

OmniScope is building an AI innovation team in Malta, enhancing and expanding the country’s technology-friendly reputation to include both health and medical technology, making it an emerging international centre of excellence and innovation for bioinformatics and AI-enabled biotechnology. As part of its ecosystemic approach, OmniScope is partnered with specialist hospitals. OmniScope’s aim is to provide the Maltese people access to cutting-edge diagnostics and healthcare developed in Malta and Spain and deployed internationally.

OmniScope’s state-of-the-art production and manufacturing facilities in Singapore provide a fast-track to commercial availability for COVID-19 and other PCR and NGS test prototypes. OmniScope’s co-founder, Dr Lihan Zhou, CEO at leading RNA diagnostics company MiRXES Group, said, “MiRXES is excited to partner and support OmniScope to develop AI-powered genomic solutions to address clinical unmet needs in COVID-19 and beyond. This builds on the strong technology and commercial foundations of MiRXES which has been serving partners and customers in 45 countries globally. Through OmniScope, we are now breaking borders with Malta to serve as a catalyst for innovation and translation. Our immediate action is to bring MiRXES’ COVID-19 solutions and other RNA technologies to the people of Malta.”  

“The dynamics of today’s biotech industry make a compelling case for international investors, especially when it’s founded by world-class scientists and industry experts – all these combined with OmniScope’s aim to bring healthcare to everyone, everywhere, is what makes this endeavour truly special”, highlights Lynnette Ang, OmniScope’s co-founder and People and Sustainability Officer. 

OmniScope represents an exciting convergence of AI, genomics, and biotechnology and intends to provide universal disease diagnostics. Co-founders and longtime friends and collaborators, Dr Holger Heyn, Vijay Vaswani, Dr Lihan Zhou and Lynnette Ang came together in the face of a global pandemic to find ways to meaningfully contribute to the scientific response to this threshold moment. The result was OmniScope, a company whose mission is to make cutting-edge science available and accessible to everyone, everywhere.


Vincent Marmara / DOI - Alan Saliba

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