Atelerix and Perfectus Biomed Group collaborate to improve the storage of COVID-19 test swabs

The UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) is delighted to announce the collaboration of Atelerix and Perfectus Biomed Group, two of UKI2S’s portfolio companies.

In May 2020, Atelerix announced that it had secured a government backed, Innovate UK grant to extend the shelf life of COVID-19 test kits. A severe limitation of swab samples is their short shelf life of only 48-72 hours at 2-8°C. Expired samples can no longer be used for reliable diagnostic purposes and would lead to patients needing to be re-tested. This award recognised the potential for using Atelerix’s unique and innovative hydrogel technology within current swab kits to encapsulate the cellular material, protecting it from mechanical stress and stabilising it at room temperature, extending the viability of testing samples way beyond 72 hours (up to two weeks).

We can now announce that Perfectus Biomed’s UK division will be working with Atelerix to assist in determining the viral preservation efficacy of its hydrogel-based sample storage technology in relation to COVID-19 swab tests. Following Atelerix’s receipt of the grant, Perfectus Biomed’s team of experts were able to propose a phased series of methodologies using cell culture and molecular techniques to determine the product’s efficacy in viral preservation.

Andrew Muir, Investment Director, UKI2S, commented: “Both companies are carrying out cutting edge, innovative research that could make a tangible difference to how we fight the COVID-19 pandemic. I am delighted that UKI2S has been able to support this collaboration and look forward to seeing the result.”

The study is currently ongoing with reported results expected in the coming months.

About Atelerix

Atelerix is a  fast growing, innovative biotech company based in the UK that has a transformative technology for the storage and transport of viable cells at room temperature, overcoming the barriers and limitations presented by the current need for cryo-shipping. The Company does this by using its patented process of encapsulating the cells in a natural hydrogel for safe shipment and storage. The cells can be recovered when needed by the addition of a gentle, cell-friendly buffer.

Atelerix’s Impact:

  • Predictability and reliability in drug discovery models and for cells used as therapies
  • Extended shelf life for currently short-lived cell therapy products
  • Customers can use cells and assays immediately on arrival
  • No need for cryopreservation, nor need for cytotoxic or animal-derived supplements
  • Cells retain their natural state and are not damaged or altered

The Com was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Cambridge (UK) with R&D and manufacturing operations in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK). For more information, please visit

About Perfectus Biomed

Perfectus Biomed Group is a UKAS accredited, GLP compliant Contract Research Organisation (CRO)  specialising in customised microbiological testing.  They operate from their SciTech Daresbury laboratory in the North West of England and more recently from their Jackson, Wyoming, laboratory in the United States. Perfectus Biomed Group has extensive experience developing fit for purpose experiments that truly mimic real-life scenarios. The team work closely with their clients and support them through all stages of their product development journey including initial screening of actives, production of data for regulatory submissions and the production of marketing materials for finished products.

Perfectus Biomed Group offer viral, cellular, biofilm, and molecular testing services as well as experimental therapeutics and infectious disease research, through customisable tissue models.

For more information on Perfectus Biomed Group’s full service offering, please visit