New COVID-19 Detection System for infected patients

GenScript Biotech and the Diagnostics Development Hub (DxD) at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) alongside Singapore’s Duke-NUS Medical School have entered into an exclusive deal whereby they will both co-develop and manufacture the serological COVID-19 detection system, otherwise known as the cPass or surrogate virus neutralization tests (sVNT).

The first of its type detection system allows for the rapid identification and detection of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs), these antibodies that are present in the serum of coronavirus patients are the reason for clearing the viral infection, without the use of live biological materials and a biocontainment facility.

Director of the Duke-NUS Emerging Infectious Diseases program – Professor Wang Linfa alongside her team came up with the idea for this research and invented the cPass COVID-19 detection system.Furthermore, the team competed the assay development and testing in Singapore.

Although several commercial COVID-19 lab-based antibody test kits are present in the market (Camtech Diagnostics’ COVID-19  IgG/IgM Rapid Qualitative Screening Test, and Biolidics’ COVID-19 rapid test kits),the newly released detection system is the first able to measure functional NAbs.

Without the presence of a simple test kit, measuring NAbs needs the use of live virus, cells, complicated laboratory procedures and highly skilled operators that are usually less sensitive and need several days to acquire results. In addition to that, another benefit of the cPass COVID-19 detection system is that it can rapidly be conducted within the hour in most clinical labs, and also has a high throughput and fully automated testing after minimal adaption.

In order to bring the cPassdetection system to the market. DxD Hub went through the process of validating the kit with clinical samples, and developed the appropriate manufacturing protocols and quality control operations, and secured authorization from the Health Science Authority (HSA). The DxD Hub will also be making the pilot batch for use initially in Singapore hospitals. This know how will eventually be transferred to local biotech companies for scaled up production.

With the increased spread of coronavirus infections around the world, health authorities and governments are working together to find ways to increase testing as there has been a global demand for a COVID-19 detection system and test kits. Imperial College London has teamed with Intelligent Fingerprinting to develop a 10-minute corona fingerprint test.

ViroTact, a Dutch biotech startup has secured funding just recently for its portable test that can detect the corona virus within 30 seconds. Companies like Hims& Hers and Vault Health in the US are now selling FDA-authorized home corona virus tests via telehealth.