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Scullion Strategy signs deal for microchip platform, seeking investment

As reported in the 24 October 2017 issue of Animal Pharm by Sian

Scullion Strategy Group has signed an exclusive option agreement with Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) for a smartphone-based microchip platform for animal fertility.

The agreement, effective as of September 27, 2017, gives Scullion the exclusive right to negotiate a worldwide, royalty-bearing license to patent rights for the technology in the field of semen analysis for veterinary use. During the exclusive option period with BWH, Scullion is aiming to build its business plan and secure capital investment to develop the technology for animal health.

Researchers at BWH, a non-profit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of Partners HealthCare, non-profit hospital and physicians network, developed a mobile diagnostic test that can measure human semen quality using a smartphone-based device.

The analyzer is in the form of an optical attachment that can connect to a smartphone and a disposable device onto which a semen sample is uploaded. The app records video of the sperm and uses an algorithm to measure concentration and motility in less than five seconds. The test analyzes and identifies abnormal semen samples with around 98% accuracy.

Scullion believes the largest opportunity for the technology in animal health is in livestock production. It said the technology will dramatically improve efficiency by bringing an accelerated, objective and comparable method for measuring reproduction potential in the swine and bovine markets.

Sherry Scullion, president of the US firm, said: "This technology offers a revolutionary tool for animal producers, equine breeders and even dog and cat breeders. Current methods of animal health breeding do not allow for animal-side testing of semen samples and is completely subjective to the operator conducting the analysis under a microscope. We believe that this technology can significantly transform the animal health reproduction industry for the better."

Dr Hadi Shafiee, principal investigator in the division of engineering in medicine and renal division at BWH, commented: "We are excited to extend our research and technology to further advance animal fertility and breeding through this agreement. By integrating advancements in computing algorithms, digital health and micro-fabrication, we have the potential of bringing rapid, sensitive, low-cost and automated semen analysis to point-of-care animal health practitioners."

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