Singapore-based Lucence said it has developed a sample collection device for viral infections such as COVID-19.
Unlike other companies’ tests, Lucence’s SAFER-Sample (Stabilization of nucleic Acid Formulation for Evaluation of RNA) does not require samples from nose or throat swabs to be chilled for transport to a lab, according to the company.
It comes with a bottle of stabilization fluid to be mixed with the sample at the point of collection, keeping viral RNA stable at room temperature for up to one week, according to Lucence. The sample can then be transported to a testing lab without the need for chilling, especially useful in countries where samples must be transported long distances for testing.
“We are very glad that our technology, used to reduce suffering of cancer patients, can contribute to accurate testing solutions during this global crisis,” said Lucence CEO Dr. Tan Min-Han in a news release. “In line with our mission of using molecular technology to improve health worldwide, we are making up to 10,000 kits available at no cost to the scientific community.”
Separately, San Francisco-based Carbon Health announced today that it is shipping COVID-19 home test kits to California patients who feel sick and whose providers recommend they stay at home. (California Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday ordered all Californians to stay home to reduce the spread of the disease.) The tests are currently available to patients located in California for an at-cost fee of $167.50. Carbon Health plans to offer them nationwide, pending state regulations.
Carbon Health said in a news release that digital pharmacy Alto Pharmacy, also in San Francisco will to deliver the test kits and that an unnamed medical device manufacturer developed the kit and will provide laboratory testing.
“Between supply shortages and lack of capacity, testing for COVID-19 is one of our country’s biggest obstacles to containing the outbreak,” said Carbon Health CEO Eren Bali in a news release. “Our proprietary technology and partnership with Alto Pharmacy allowed us to move fast and efficiently create, analyze and distribute testing. We are also looking for more partners as we expand our distribution of home test kits. Our goal is to keep moving forward and make these tests widely accessible so that patients and clinicians everywhere benefit as quickly as possible.”