February 8, 2021

Edmonton company develops made-in-Alberta COVID testing kit

Company goes small with nanotechnology to make a big impact

Edmonton-based company Applied Quantum Materials (AQM) has struck a deal with Alberta Health Services to provide the province’s provincial laboratory system with kits for COVID-19 testing.

The kits use AQM’s proprietary MagDx™ technology, which includes magnetic silicon-based nanoparticles that allow the lab to isolate and extract nucleic acids (RNA/DNA) related to COVID-19. AQM has an excellent animation that depicts the process.

David Antoniuk, CEO of Applied Quantum Materials

The magnetic nanoparticles were developed as part of Canada’s “Call to Action” to fight COVID. Nanotechnology involves applications that are very small – at the scale of one-billionth of a metre.

The agreement strengthens Alberta’s medical supply chain by providing a made-in-Alberta solution to combat the pandemic and helps to ensure the province is less vulnerable to shortages from international lab suppliers.

Alberta Innovates has supported AQM in developing other nanotechnology applications through programs in our Post-Secondary Investments and Entrepreneurial Investments business lines, and through our former Clean Technology Development program.

Funding and support through our Strategic Research Projects and Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement grants contributed to build IP and HQP capacity at UofA and knowledge transfer to AQM. AQM has also been a part of our Executive Business Advisor Program, which provides ongoing executive coaching and support to rapidly growing technology companies, for two years. Before its pivot to COVID testing, the company used  nanomaterial to turn windows into solar panels, also with our support.

“AQM is a great  example of how innovative companies can pivot and apply technologies across sectors, in this case from using nanomaterials to produce energy to using them for COVID diagnostic testing, We’re happy to have supported AQM on its path and look forward to its future innovations.”

  • Laura Kilcrease, Alberta Innovates CEO.

We’ll be featuring AQM in an upcoming episode of Shift by Alberta Innovates. Stay tuned!

Visit this link to learn more about AQM and Alberta Health Services’ partnership.