Antibody-based diagnostics and therapeutics
Liselo has developed a range of antibody-based diagnostics and therapeutics targeted at agricultural, veterinary, and primary health care challenges in the developing world.
This includes the manufacturing of labeled affinity-purified antibodies used in lab-on-chip-based diagnostic kits, as well as antibody-based immunotherapeutic candidate drugs. Some of these therapeutic antibodies are polyclonal whilst others are chimeric monoclonal or “multi-clonal” (which are either humanized or “otherized” for extended in-vivo half-life) in the targeted animal species.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Liselo has fast-tracked an immunotherapeutic prophylaxis strategy, which is currently undergoing Phase 1 clinical trials in the USA, via Praedicare Labs Inc.
Single Cell Biology
Studies using lab-on-chip microfluidics to isolate single cells allow us to build high-resolution transcriptomics data that is used for drug discovery and clinical research. The ability to process samples from clinical trials into transcriptomics data allows for rapid safety and efficacy studies in humans and animals. Liselo’s scRNA-Seq facility is also being integrated into its biopharming platform for the generation of massively parallel cDNA libraries, and subsequent cloning and expression of candidate therapeutics.
Liselo Labs Mobile App development partner, Bengo Systems, focuses on integrating our various solutions into convenient Mobile-based tools for end-users and more efficient stakeholder engagement. Our telecommunications experience is leveraged to provide integrated and connected solutions, driven predominantly by mobile connectivity.
Government departments, NGO’s and researchers around the world utilize our systems to access critical data in disease and pest monitoring and management. An example of Mipha’s relevance is the recent addition of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak maps, and a tutorial showing infographic information about the disease. The “Mipha” app available on Playstore and Appstore represents the world’s first “One Health” App and is linked to a nanotechnology-powered molecular biology tool in the form of a range of rapid test kits.
Venomous Snake Diagnostics and Therapeutics
Liselo is currently conducting trials on a range of snake antivenom products, that promise a lower-cost alternative to horse-derived products, without the risk of anaphylactic complications. Liselo’s single-cell RNA-Seq platform is also being used to develop cDNA libraries of polyclonal antibodies against snake venoms, to allow safe and consistent anti-venom production, in its biopharming platform.
The combination of a safe and cost-effective antivenom is a desperately needed tool particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where hundreds of thousands of people die annually from venomous snake bites.
Immunotherapeutic Drug Development
The team has developed a number of immunotherapeutic candidate drugs for the following diseases which are currently at various stages in the drug development cycle, with some already undergoing clinical trials:
- African Horse Sickness Virus
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- Yellow Fever Virus
- Rabies Virus
- West Nile Virus
- Venomous snakes of Southern Africa
Research Partnerships and Collaborations
Liselo has active collaborations with the Lesotho Department of Agriculture, the North West Agriculture department in South Africa. Collaboration with academia around the world plays an important role in unlocking the value of innovation in universities. Collaborations include the Biopharming Research Unit of the University of Cape Town, The Entomology Department at the University of the North West, the Centre for Nanoscale Systems (CNS) at Harvard University, the Central Univerity of Technology in the Free State, the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Liselo is part of the “NuGrainSA Consortium”, which is currently co-coordinating the introduction of Quinoa to Lesotho, and the development of a pathogen-free seed bank for the SADC region. This represents a significant regional strategy to improve food security through the introduction of nutritious climate-smart crops like Quinoa.
Collaboration with universities and other research institutions around the world has allowed the development of a test kit platform, resulting in the ongoing development of a number of rapid point-of-care diagnostics.