Award-winning Cambridge company to pioneer radical new Covid-19 test

Thumbs-up for DiagNodus as company receives highly competitive Innovate UK grant

DiagNodus Ltd, a Cambridge biomedical company based at Babraham Research Campus, has received a prestigious grant from Innovate UK to help it develop a radical new test for Covid-19 using anal swabs. DiagNodus expects its new test to be more accurate than the model currently in use, which is based on collecting material from the nose and throat.

Dr. Alex Loktionov, CEO and Scientific Director of DiagNodus, commented: “recent peer-reviewed studies ( have shown that the virus remains in the bowel for longer than it does elsewhere in the body. Therefore, if we develop a test that spots it in bowel material, using our already proven diagnostic approach, we can trace the disease in patients who might otherwise have tested negative, but are in fact carriers of Covid-19. This can also protect from infection medical professionals performing gastrointestinal and colorectal procedures, and I am delighted that Innovate UK will be helping us take this project forward”.

Hard at work: A DiagNodus scientist doing her bit in the battle against Covid-19

The recent funding boost is the latest in a series of positive developments for DiagNodus. Earlier this year, the company’s innovative research on detecting bowel cancer was featured in the British Journal of Cancer, one of the world’s top medical publications ( The company has also launched an ambitious strategic partnership with St. George’s Hospital, a leading London NHS trust, as well as strengthening its Board with a new director tasked with commercialising its products and drawing in investment. This builds on an impressive track record in recent years, which have seen the company gain two granted patents, while the European Commission has recognised the work of DiagNodus with a prestigious Seal of Excellence. DiagNodus will announce a major fundraising round in the coming weeks.

For more information on DiagNodus, please see or follow @Diagnodus on Twitter.

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Feed the kid’s brains with BBC Sounds award-winning zombie podcast

London, UK; 27 March 2020 – As the UK public continues to isolate at home in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak and parents struggle to find ways to entertain their children that don’t involve screens, BBC Sounds Once Upon a Time in Zombieville podcast could provide the perfect distraction for young imaginations!

Produced by Bigmouth Audio, a company specialising in production of character performances for the animation and video games industries, the show is like a comic book for the ears that can be enjoyed by the whole family!

The comedy-horror audio cartoon was originally developed with assistance by Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), to create a rich, immersive experience for both sighted and visually impaired listeners alike and features a diverse cast including lead characters with visual impairment and dyslexia.

Once Upon a Time in Zombieville is perfect for children aged 7-12 and will keep them gripped throughout, with thoughtful lessons around real-life scenarios children may face, from absent parents to bullying, making the right decisions, understanding dyslexia, and friendships, which can open up opportunities for discussion and debate for the listeners.

Bigmouth Audio works with clients to help tell their stories through sound with services including; voice production management and international voice dubbing or localisation. In 2016, they launched Bigmouth Originals, their in-house IP development arm and their first project was Once upon a time in Zombieville, which has gone on to win several industry awards and picked up gold for Best Family Podcast at the 2018 British Podcast Awards.

“We understand that right now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, everyone is in need of entertainment, distraction and a good laugh,” says Bigmouth Audio Founder and Managing Director Stephen Scott, “Stories can provide all those things! We’ve seen so many children get such joy from listening to this story. Fictional stories such as Once Upon a Time in Zombieville can stimulate the imagination in different ways to visual stories, which can be new and exciting for modern kids. They can also be a great way of helping children to delve into real life situations and learn to empathise with others.”

There is also a third season which was released in February this year. Also 10 episodes with a further 10 episodes featuring even more adventures following lead characters Jamie and Sam as they battle the Mad Moghul, the Bad Billionaire, Voom Buckstop in an effort to save the world.

“The show is serialised, meaning there is a story arc reaching across the whole series. There’s a healthy dose of weird and spooky antics, but we’ve also got some great comedy moments in every 10-minute episode. Plus, each episode has a cliff-hanger ending, to add to the drama and keep audiences on the edge of their seats,” says Stephen.

Season 1 and 3 of Once Upon a Time in Zombieville are free to download on BBC Sounds & Apple Podcasts.

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