Mologic announced today that it initiated early validation of point-of-need COVID-19 diagnostic tests with two United Kingdom-based universities.
The Bedfordshire, U.K.-based company is initiating its tests with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and St. George’s University London, according to a news release. The accelerated development of the test is a product of funding from U.K. Aid, as the government is putting £46 million ($55.4 million) toward coronavirus prevention and research.
Mologic said in the news release that its early prototypes of antibody tests made it possible to begin a process of optimization as laboratories around the world will evaluate the different prototypes and assess their performance. The company said the technology will be shipped to global validation partners including the Institut Pasteur de Dakar (Senegal), La Jolla Institute for Immunology (U.S.), the Wuhan Institute of Virology (China), the University of Malaya (Malaysia), the Institute for Health Science Research Germans Trias I Pujol (Spain), and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Brazil).
The diagnostic test is designed for users to check for exposure to the virus at home, in the community or in a clinic, providing results within 10 minutes and eliminating the need for special training, electricity or a lab. Mologic said it will sell the test at a cost to low-income settings in an effort to ensure that affected countries have access to the kits during the global pandemic.
“Completion of the first prototypes is a significant step in Mologic’s development of a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19 and we are proud of our team’s achievement in reaching this point so quickly while maintaining the most rigorous standards,” Mologic co-founder & chief scientific officer Paul Davis said in the release. “Diagnostics are a critical weapon in the fight against this pandemic and, once ready, this test will enable affordable, more accurate and earlier diagnosis of infection, limiting the spread of the disease.”
Mologic medical director Dr. Joe Fitchett added that there’s a need for decentralized diagnostics until a vaccine is ready or a medicine is proven to be effective. “Properly assessing new tests during an epidemic is a critical and necessary step to ensuring access to the technology. Mologic’s prototypes will now be subject to international validation, with leading labs across the world.”