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Bay Area Health Trust, a Hamilton-based company, today announced an exclusive licensing agreement for the ‘McMaster Molecular Medium (“MMM”) with McMaster University. Developed by researchers from St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton‘s Disease Diagnostics and Development Group, MMM will enable labs to safely increase their COVID-19 testing capacity and therefore return results faster.

In anticipation of global shortages of nasal swabs and other virus testing supplies, including transport media that preserve the integrity of collected samples, Dr. David Bulir, a researcher from McMaster University and The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton recognized the need for a better way.

“We saw very early that control and containment of this pandemic would need vastly increased testing capacity, and the ability to leverage partners within our community has been critical to getting this technology into the hands of both public health as well as private organizations,” said Dr. Gail Martin, Executive Director of The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton.

MMM is a temperature-stable storage medium that can maintain Coronavirus specimens for up to 14 days, significantly longer than standard transport media. MMM inactivates – kills – the virus so it cannot replicate and potentially infect a lab technician. The genetic material is kept stabilized and ready for testing.

Another key benefit of using MMM is the ability to pool specimens. Specimen pooling can enable labs to significantly increase their testing capacity. Since most tests produce negative results, only pools that come back with positive results will need to be further tested.

“This agreement is a testament to the value that Bay Area Health Trust and our operating units like Bay Area Research Logistics can bring to its beneficiaries and the growing Hamilton health care ecosystem,” said Peter Kalra, President and CEO of Bay Area Health Trust.

“When all parties share in a common goal, especially one as important as this, then everyone benefits. MILO is pleased to work with organizations such as Bay Area Health Trust, who have the capability and expertise to support further development and bring these discoveries to market so quickly on a national and global scale,” said Gay Yuyitung, Executive Director at McMaster’s Industry Liaison Office.

Bay Area Health Trust has been working with The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton and McMaster University to build up Ontario’s testing supplies and the lab’s capacity to perform rapid testing as the regions begin to remove restrictions and in preparation of a potential second wave.


About Bay Area Health Trust

At the intersection of health, life sciences and business, Bay Area Health Trust is an example of a successful partnership between hospitals and the for-profit private sector. Operating life science businesses with the goal of returning value to its beneficiaries, Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation and McMaster University Bay Area Health Trust promotes entrepreneurship and invests in growth-oriented businesses to support patient care. More information can be found at

About McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO)

The McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO) supports the research endeavors of McMaster University and its affiliated hospitals by disseminating research results through commercialization. MILO is a unit of the Office of the Vice President of Research at McMaster University.

About The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton

The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton is an academic and research community focused on improving the quality of life for our patients and community members, as well as those diagnosed with a diverse range of medical conditions around the world. We function as a scientific community for the good of our community and the world we share. As faculty members of McMaster University, our world-class researchers work alongside local clinicians and students – fostering a culture of exploration, innovation and inquiry at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

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