Atom Bioworks Wins 2021 Rapid Testing Innovation Award

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — DCN Dx and DIALUNOX GMbH, the organizers of the Advanced Lateral Flow Conference (ALFC), announced yesterday that Atom Bioworks, Inc. has won the 2021 Rapid Testing Innovation Award.

The award recognizes the best innovation in the field of rapid point-of-care assays or the most novel application for rapid assays during the past year. The prize includes a cash award of $10,000 USD*.

The award was presented Nov. 3 in a ceremony at the 2021 ALFC. The ALFC was held Nov. 1-3, 2021, at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego, Calif.

Atom Bioworks’ technology harnesses developments in nanoengineering to produce DNA nanostructures capable of replacing traditional antibodies in lateral flow and other POC assays. For years, DNA-based detection molecules have been plagued by slow development timelines, low binding affinity, and lack of specificity. Through combining bioinformatics and machine learning, DNA nanostructures can be designed to match the pattern and type of antigens on the surface of a detection target. They presented a modular lateral flow platform where DNA nanostructures can quickly be exchanged within the assay to switch detection targets without the need for assay redevelopment, significantly decreasing the time required to bring a product to market.

Academic, government, and corporate individuals or groups are invited to submit for the Rapid Testing Innovation Award. The cited innovation is not required to be a marketed product; however, it must be beyond the conceptual stage and far enough along in development that data can be provided. The award is not a funding mechanism for future work but rather a recognition of work that has been performed.

"We’re so excited to receive the Rapid Testing Innovation Award and hear feedback from the lateral flow community about our DNA Star alternative antibody platform," said Sherwood Yao, CEO and co-founder of Atom Bioworks. "With support from RADx, we have developed multiple rapid test prototypes for infectious diseases—including for COVID-19—to prove our platform’s high sensitivity. We’re now looking to co-develop rapid assay products with partners and license our technology for applications that require high sensitivity and a fast development cycle. Winning this award will definitely help bring awareness to our technology."

"What Atom Bioworks has done is nothing short of impressive," said Brendan O’Farrell, Ph.D., DCN Dx’s president and founding partner and an ALFC co-host. "There were many great submissions this year, and it was difficult to identify only one. We were bowled over by the quality and innovative spirit of this year’s applicants. In the end, however, Atom Bioworks’ efforts to replace traditional antibodies with DNA nanostructures proved to be most in the spirit of the Rapid Testing Innovation Award. There’s a lot of great work being done in the lateral flow industry today, and we’re excited to encourage it."

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