A promising solution was recently revealed through a partnership between the UAE and the UK.
UAE’s Group 42 (G42) is bringing its artificial intelligence and cloud computing expertise to the table, alongside UK’s Oxford Nanopore’s advanced sequencing products. Together, they claim to have developed a “population-scale technology” that can quickly and accurately detect the virus on a mass scale, at low-cost.
“With ultra-high parallel processing capacity … this innovation uses the LamPORE assay, which is based on the LAMP [loop-mediated isothermal amplification] technique and Oxford Nanopore’s rapid sequencing platform, in combination with the high-throughput automation, sample processing and reporting workflows developed by G42,” the statement explained. “Population-wide testing can help break the transmission patterns of the virus, reducing the number of cases when used in conjunction with a rapid public health response.
An assay is an investigative laboratory procedure for medicine, pharmacology, and environmental and molecular biology. It is used for qualitative assessment or quantitative measurement of a given entity, in this case, Coronavirus detection.
The companies are aiming to scale-up their endeavor through numerous factors. Sample taking for Coronavirus detection is currently done only through swabs, the companies are working on making RNA samples attainable from saliva, which would greatly improve the collection process. Currently, the technique can also be used for testing surfaces and in systems such as water or sewage plants.
The companies are pushing for global deployment of the solution since the technique allows for decentralized on-demand testing.
“The worst of the pandemic has brought out the best in us” said G42’s CEO, Peng Xiao. “We believe this capability will not only enable large-scale screening of SARS-CoV-2, but also fundamentally shift the paradigm on health diagnostics in general”.
The product is expected to launch “within weeks” the company said in a statement and “has the potential to change the diagnostics industry globally”.