BioPorto Diagnostics A/S (CHP:BIOPOR) and the University of Southern Denmark are fast-tracking development of a test to detect coronavirus (COVID-19) in less than 10 minutes.
Current COVID-19 testing analysis is based on the standard method of screening after sending samples to laboratories for analysis, which can take up to 6-8 hours before the results are ready. Also, the number of tests is limited to the scarce capacity of instruments used for analysis.
Serological COVID-19 tests have recently been introduced to speed up the process, but such tests are unsuitable for early detection and cannot distinguish between infected and recovered patients, BioPorto said in a statement.
Furthermore, serological tests may risk not identifying patients in the early phase of the disease as they still rely on laboratory analysis for confirmation, it added.
In the BioPorto collaboration, associate professor Jonas Heilskov Graversen and associate professor Yaseelan Palarasah from the university are leading the development of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
The antibodies will be introduced on BioPorto’s patented technology Generic Rapid Assay Device platform (gRAD) for direct Point of Care detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in less than 10 minutes based on a simple sample from saliva or a pharyngeal swab.
Medical officials noted that SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19, which is the disease.
“We are using newly developed methods for viral handling and draw on the large expertise in the generation of monoclonal antibodies generated over many years. With this we develop antibodies that selectively recognises antigens on the virus surface and shows on BioPorto’s gRAD strip,” said Graversen.
Denmark-based BioPorto said this novel approach offers a rapid standalone method for early and reliable diagnosis of COVID-19 patients, which can help medical facilities make fast diagnosis so that appropriate precautions and treatment can immediately be implemented to improve patient outcome and epidemic control.
The rapid diagnosis also means that people can go to work or travel by plane shortly after being tested.
The company noted that collaborations with national and international hospitals have already been established for immediate access to human sample testing. An approved version of the test kit will be available within the second half of 2020.
”As the coronavirus spreads in a short period of time and since a significant number of patients are infected by somebody who has the virus but does not yet have symptoms, time is essential in the fight to beat the coronavirus worldwide. Therefore, the availability of a quick and easy to use coronavirus test will be an important tool in this battle” said BioPorto COO Jan Kuhlmann.
BioPorto's stock recently traded up 12% to DKK2.2 a share in Copenhagen.
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