8 April, 2017 - 09:56 By Tony Quested

Intelligent Fingerprinting scales manufacturing capacity

Intelligent Fingerprinting Biodot machine

Intelligent Fingerprinting, which is developing the world’s first portable fingerprint-based drug screening system, has scaled its manufacturing capacity ten-fold over the last year in readiness for the commercialisation of the unique drug screening system.

The first product of its kind in the world, Intelligent Fingerprinting’s portable drug screening system is described as easy-to-use, non-invasive and works in under 10 minutes by analysing the tiny traces of sweat contained in a fingerprint.

Since moving to new 11,000 sq ft Cambridge premises in 2015, Intelligent Fingerprinting has continued to expand R & D and manufacturing facilities and recruit additional staff.

Over the last year the company has successfully scaled manufacturing capacity of its innovative drug test cartridges, and considerable future scale-up will be achievable without further capital investment through the addition of more production staff.

Intelligent Fingerprinting has also supported the transition towards manufacturing process automation with investments including the latest BioDot™ reel-to-reel production technology, automating the printing and laminating of test material for its specialist sample collection cartridges.

CEO Dr Jerry Walker said: “Our Cambridge HQ facility was designed from the outset for high throughput manufacturing and we now have a first phase operation in place that can support production requirements following commercialisation.

“Additionally, following our recent announcement of a further £3 million of funding, we’re in a position to introduce further production and automated assembly enhancements as we scale our manufacturing to commercial volumes and reduce unit costs.”

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s in vitro diagnostic medical device development, design and manufacturing process is already certified to ISO 13485, the internationally recognised standard for medical device quality management.

With appropriate regulatory approval, the Intelligent Fingerprinting drug screening system can be used in many environments, any time, to support a range of applications. It has attracted global interest from a diverse range of clients and markets, including drug rehabilitation programmes, tackling drug use in prisons, police initiatives, coroner services, occupational health services – and establishing fitness for duty in safety critical workplaces such as the transport and construction industries.
The technique has potential for many other uses including healthcare diagnostics and homeland security applications.

The company’s ground-breaking technology detects drug use by analysing chemicals, known as metabolites, contained in the minute traces of sweat found in a fingerprint. (Metabolites are chemicals produced by the body as a result of normal metabolic processes.) 

The Intelligent Fingerprinting system looks for the presence of specific drugs or drug metabolites in the test subject’s fingerprint sweat sample and, if detected, identifies which drugs have been consumed.

Since 2012 Intelligent Fingerprinting has raised £11.23m in funding from a consortium of private UK and US-based investors, as well as government funding for pilot studies within the UK’s National Health Service and coroners’ services.

Founded in 2007, Intelligent Fingerprinting is a spin-out from the University of East Anglia. The company currently employs 26 people but has ambitious plans to scale.

• PHOTOGRAPH: Intelligent Fingerprinting’s BioDot machine

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