Rapid test for Covid-19 in development

Date:17 March 2020 Author: Leila Stein Tags:,

The UK company Mologic Ltd has been awarded £1 million (around R20 million) to develop a point-of-need diagnostic test for the covid-19.

The current swab tests take around 48 hours to complete and are in short supply in many countries, including the US and the UK.

Mologic has a history with rapid test development, having made rapid test kits during the Ebola outbreak. They are also credited as the inventors of the home pregnancy test.

“As seen with the COVID-19 outbreak, viruses can quickly transmit between populations, however, our knowledge to tackle this threat has also grown exponentially. For rapid epidemic preparedness and response, we need to develop a platform that is readily modified according to a novel pathogen, as we are demonstrating through our accelerated programmes for Ebola and COVID-19,”said Professor Paul Davis, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Mologic.

The new diagnostic test will be a hand-held device that will allow for a 10 minute diagnosis turn around without the need for laboratory equipment or electricity.

According to Bloomberg, the test could cost as little as $1 (around R16) per test.

A fast test would mean faster quarantine and access to care, reducing the likelihood of spreading infection.

The test is being developed in partnership with the Institute Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal. It will be the first diagnostic test created in the UK and manufactured in Africa.

Image: Unsplash

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