Published on LinkedIn, April 13, 2020
After a bumpy start to testing for COVID-19, the global healthcare community has banded together and put forth substantial effort resulting in a variety of testing options that are creating a tangible impact on the detection and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the interesting examples are
- Cepheid’s Xpert® Xpress automated molecular test for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 that allows for point of care testing for symptomatic patients with case symptom criteria. The screening capabilities of this test enables decisionmakers to rapidly allocate resources and prioritize care for the infectious patient population while in the waiting rooms.
- Abbott’s ID NOW® rapid molecular testing platform enables general practitioners and urgent care clinics to rapidly test walk-in patients in as little as 5 minutes. Abbott’s RealTime SARS-CoV-2 EUA test is also an option for centralized lab environments. Tests are utilized on Abbott’s M2000 RealTime system, which allows for complete automation and the ability to run up to 470 tests in 24 hours. The company will be scaling up production to manufacture 1 million tests per week this month
- OZO.Life’s highly accurate latex enhanced LFIA technology binds latex to antibodies, which allows for higher accuracy and enhanced sensitivity, making it a valuable tool for healthcare professionals to detect the COVID-19 virus with an accuracy rate upwards of 98% under optimal conditions.
- Current COVID-19 testing methods such as PCR require dedicated machinery and staff and can take up to 3 hours for results. BioLidics’ new diagnostic test can rapidly detect the COVID-19 virus in 10 minutes with an accuracy of more than 95% by analyzing serum, plasma, or whole blood samples.
- The Celldex qSARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM Rapid Test works by detecting IgG and IgM antibodies and is designed to produce results in 15-20 minutes. The antibody technology allows doctors to distinguish between acute and recent infection based on which antibodies are present.
Recent innovations have put us back on track to assist in the detection and control of this pandemic, but what lies ahead? COVID-19 diagnostic tests are performing well in hospitals and clinics, but do not allow for point-of-care testing for the less-mobile population who are confined to their homes or live-in facilities.
Eventually, testing of exposure to the virus will necessitate a serological test. Assuming that 20% of the population is at an increased risk of infection, and for 1% of this population the virus is fatal, we will need to define biomarkers to identify this group so that they can be isolated and treated early in the disease progression.
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