Rapid allergy diagnosis

Vienna-based life science start-up develops new allergy test method

About this project

EU-funded Viennese start-up Macro Array Diagnostics develops revolutionary ways of diagnosing allergies. Its Allergy Explorer (ALEX) is the first test in the world that can rapidly and reliably test for up to 300 allergens simultaneously. A single drop of blood plasma or serum is all that is needed to carry out a comprehensive analysis.

Allergies: a growing public health problem

The World Health Organisation considers allergies to be among the most serious health problems of the 21st century. This is backed up by statistical evidence from Austria, where a growing number of people suffer from allergies. Whereas in 2012 only 1 in 4 Austrians was affected, by 2017 this had risen to 37% of the population, and the trend continues.

“Our ongoing goal is to help all those suffering from allergies,” says Christian Harwanegg, CEO and founder of Viennese allergy diagnostic developer Macro Array Diagnostics. “Conventional diagnostic tests are expensive and often unpleasant for the patient because several diagnostic steps are necessary. With our faster and more effective test method, we want to change this. And we will further develop our technology so that even more people can benefit from it.”

Improved diagnostics speed up treatment for allergy patients

Macro Array Diagnostics has developed a multi-parameter allergy diagnostic method covering almost all globally relevant allergens in a single lab test. Conventional allergy tests allow only a limited number of allergenic substances to be examined simultaneously.

The new test method gives allergy patients comprehensive information about the status of their condition. It also allows medical practitioners to begin treatment and make recommendations more quickly and in a more targeted way.

Macro Array Diagnostics was the only Austrian life science company to receive EU support under the Horizon 2020 programme’s European Innovation Council SME Instrument phase 2. The funding will be used to intensify development of its revolutionary diagnostics technology.

Research, innovation and jobs thanks to EU funding

“We see this EU funding approval as a great distinction for our unique diagnostic method and our highly motivated team. The EU's support will considerably accelerate the further development of the technology. This will enable new customer segments to be opened up faster and new jobs to be created,” says Macro Array Diagnostics CEO and founder Christian Harwanegg. His company has created an allergy diagnostic method that can test for up to 300 allergens simultaneously.

During 2014-20, the EU's Horizon 2020 programme will provide nearly €75 billion for Europe-wide research and innovation. Its main objectives include fostering excellence in research, and developing competitive research and business locations and more innovative products and services.

Project facts
  • Established in 2016
  • Currently employs 15 people
  • Research and development in Vienna
  • Market launch in September 2017
  • EU funding of €2.5 million for further development of revolutionary allergy diagnostics technology
Christian Harwanegg
EU Funding:
EUR 2 500 000
Austria, Vienna
2018 - 2020
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