Australian startups hope Ellume’s success will help tap global markets


Like Ellume, the companies are focused on the global opportunity from rapid diagnostic tests during COVID-19 and beyond. Lumos executive chairman Sam Lanyon said Ellume’s news was “huge” for validating Australian businesses wanting to reach global markets.

“It shows an Australian company can get ahead of the pack and bring a test to market. It bodes extremely well for us and makes our job a hell of a lot easier,” Mr Lanyon said.

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Lumos Diagnostics has designed a rapid test that distinguishes whether a patient has a viral or bacterial test and has been used in pilot programs in the UK to triage patients when they present with cold-like symptoms. Mr Lanyon said the business was also considering the opportunities of at-home versions of these tests.

Atomo Diagnostics managing director John Kelly said news of Ellume’s successes “helps the sector in general and provides more confidence”.

Atomo generates the majority of its business offshore, with a flagship product which is a self-HIV test, as well as TGA-approved COVID-19 tests. Mr Kelly said while there was traction growing in the diagnostics space, home-grown businesses had to be well-funded and globally-focused to succeed.

“You’ve got to be well capitalised and the Australian market is limited by its size. If you want to get beyond a certain size, you have to head overseas.”

Mr Lanyon agreed, saying Ellume’s success came after securing significant funding both overseas and in Australia, where the Queensland government committed $50 million to support the manufacturing effort.

“It takes a lot of investment to do this – and the more capital available, the better.”

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