A University of Queensland start-up company developing rapid serum blood collection tube technology will be manufactured and used in Japan after it partnered with the country’s leading medical device company, Terumo Corporation.

Q-Sera Pty Ltd, founded by UQ’s commercialisation company UniQuest in 2012 based on UQ intellectual property, has proprietary technology that clots blood samples more quickly and effectively, particularly for patients on blood thinning medication, to produce high-quality serum for analysis.

Blood serum tests are commonly used to assist in the accurate diagnosis of medical problems from heart attacks to diabetes in hospital and community settings.

The blood clotting technology was developed from the work of Professor Martin Lavin from the UQ Centre for Clinical Research, the late Dr Paul Masci from UQ’s Faculty of Medicine, Emeritus Professor John de Jersey from UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences and Dr Goce Dimeski, chief scientist in chemical pathology at Princess Alexandra Hospital.

The deal with Terumo Corporation will see Q-Sera’s innovative RAPClotTM rapid serum tube technology manufactured and used in Japan.

Q-Sera will also supply Terumo Corporation with the recombinant protein RAPClotTM.

The serum tubes produce high-quality serum in less than five minutes, reducing the turnaround time from sample collection to serum analysis compared with current technologies.

RAPClotTM is also effective in producing high-quality blood serums from blood samples that contain anti-coagulants, such as heparin, providing a higher degree of confidence around patient diagnosis and care in hospital and community settings.

The UQ researchers behind Q-Sera’s technology isolated proteins from the venom of some of the world’s deadliest snakes to develop a novel class of coagulation agents patented for use in blood collection tubes.

The lead active protein RAPClotTM can be produced at industrial scale using recombinant cell lines and standard manufacturing processes.

UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said the company’s ongoing success was testament to the expertise and commitment of its team, and the quality of research behind it.

“It is fantastic to see the Q-Sera technology achieve significant success in overseas markets like Japan and a great example of Queensland expertise coming together to deliver a significant international deal,” he said.

“I congratulate all who have worked hard to achieve this tremendous outcome.”

Q-Sera was supported by investment from two of Australia’s premier life science investors, the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), managed by Australia’s largest venture capital firm Brandon Capital Partners, and UniSeed, Australia’s longest-running venture fund operating at selected Australian universities and CSIRO.