Success Stories

Kingston Based Health Innovation Start-Up Offers New Tool to Fight the Growing Opioid Crisis

Kingston based start-up Spectra Plasmonics has seen tremendous interest and support as they continue to roll out their patent pending technology in the fight against increasing levels of opioid related overdoses.

Launched through the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative Program (QICSI) in 2017, Spectra Plasmonics has developed a consumable test which enables users to quickly identify deadly levels of components such as fentanyl, carfentanil and other additives which are becoming a common find in street drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

“Today’s drug mixtures are complex and rapidly evolving. Our portable solution can identify a wide range of substances even if they are similar in nature AND detect them if they present at low amounts. This is especially important for potent synthetic drugs like the fentanyl family which can be laced at quantities that are invisible to the naked eye,” says Malcolm Eade, CEO, Spectra Plasmonics. Furthermore, Eade outlines, “the information rich data allows operators to take immediate action on results generated which is a stark contrast to waiting for a laboratory result that often takes months to receive. For a supervised consumption site, this could mean immediately informing clients of a toxic batch of drugs before they are taken.”

By offering these near-real-time analysis of samples, Spectra Plasmonics’ solution has the potential to be a rapid and reliable approach to reducing potential overdoses of consumers, and may mitigate exposures to correctional, police and health care professionals.

“It’s very inspiring to see the development of such a powerful tool to help identify synthetic additives taking the lives of not only our community’s most vulnerable, but also impact our younger population,” says Ian Murdoch, Business Development Officer with Kingston Economic Development Corporation. “We want these types of businesses to thrive in Kingston. By adopting an all hands-on deck approach, we can ensure high growth potential companies are provided the necessary supports to launch and grow.”

Spectra Plasmonics is lead by a Queen’s University team consisting of CEO, Malcolm Eade (B. Sc), CFO, Tyler Whitney, (B. Com). and COO Christian Baldwin (MMIE, B. Eng).

Learn more about Spectra Plasmonics