Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Rapid Athlete Testing

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posted on 2021-11-22, 11:53 authored by Fox, Mark Edward

The Rapid Athlete Testing project stemmed from exploratory research partnership to assess the commercial viability of Auramer Bio’s aptamer-based biosensor in the field of testing athletes for signs of drug abuse and doping in sport. Within this project, we aimed to explore a side avenue for the device to ascertain further market exploration and to determine whether it could be a popular and profitable industry to enter.  The drug abuse and doping in sport industry is a worldwide cause and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) leads the charge as an individual governing body. Each nation has a government-affiliated body that facilitates the sample collecting and testing at one of the 34 WADA accredited labs around the world. The scope of the opportunity for the innovation and commercialisation of this project is immense as Auramer Bio’s device could be implemented on the grand worldwide scale.  This project and report aims to explore and analyse the development and commercialisation potential of the device for Auramer Bio. The opportunity primarily lay in the evaluation of a suitable business and product development strategy, understanding the scope of the industry and a thorough analysis of similar technologies and competitor products.  In order to delve into this regimented and secretive industry to extract the necessary information and assess the viability of our goal, we first needed to find where we could obtain these sources of information and what we needed to ask them. For the true development of the project, we explored several business and development strategies to ensure the right methodology was being carried out for the device. We assessed our most direct competition and investigated the development strategies of similar technologies. Next, we began to reach out and connect with organisations involved with the drug testing in sport industry, as well as those indirectly involved and those affected by it. We directly interviewed candidates from Drugfree Sport NZ, the Australian Sports Drug Testing Lab (ASDTL) and were even fortunate enough to have a survey for WADA answered.  Through our investigation, we found many key inefficiencies within the industry that our device could exploit to create a viable niche. Our research participants confirmed our base theories and assumptions, whilst also delivering vital information that allowed us to pivot accordingly. We have also found an amiable starting point for the device’s prototype and a direction for the future. With the help of one of our research participants, we were able to isolate a plan for our path to market and our hopeful future WADA accreditation for the device.  The Rapid Athlete Testing project has sought out the knowledge of several key industry representatives, the athletes and coaches themselves and has networked effectively to create a practical starting point for Auramer Bio’s aptamer based biosensor within a firmly structured industry. If managed successfully in the future, the work from this project could take the device to the world stage and be a key tool in the Olympics and other large sporting events to come, maintaining fair competition in sport.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Innovation and Commercialisation

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Innovation and Commercialisation

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences


Hodgkiss, Justin