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Zyme Biosciences make the finals of WE Innovate

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​Zyme Biosciences, a team led by Dr Marta Broto Aviles who is an i-sense postdoc in Prof Molly Stevens group at Imperial College London, have made the finals of WE Innovate 2021. The scheme is led by the Imperial Enterprise Lab and provides a platform to showcase the incredible progress being made in women’s entrepreneurship at Imperial – with winning teams receiving a part of a 30K prize fund for their ideas.  

Dr Broto Aviles, said: “When COVID-19 came along, the world quickly realised the importance of rapid diagnostic tests to identify positive cases and reduce transmission.” 

Photo: Dr Broto Aviles 

Previously, Dr Broto Aviles and her colleagues in Prof Stevens’ group were working on rapid diagnostic tests for other infectious diseases, including HIV and non-communicable diseases, such as cancer. The team were motivated to enter the WE Innovate programme to learn more about how they could move some of their work to the market.  

“Our team, including Leah, Paresh and Schan, make up an interdisciplinary team with different backgrounds and expertise all centring on nano-diagnostics. The research we had been doing prior to the pandemic was highly transferrable and helped respond quickly.” 

The project that the Zyme Biosciences team, including Professor Stevens, have been working on through the WE Innovate initiative is called QwikZyme. QwikZyme is a small, user-friendly device that utilises novel nanomaterials to detect a range of disease biomarkers.  

The have optimised the assay to detect proteins in SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and they believe the test could be expanded to detect non-communicable diseases in future. 

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