Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Columbia licenses out SARS-CoV-2 test that gives results in 30 minutes

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 5th, 2020

Columbia University and Sorrento Therapeutics have entered into a licensing agreement to commercialize a rapid, one-step saliva test that can detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in as little as 30 minutes.

Unlike current coronavirus tests, the technology developed at Columbia holds all of the testing materials in a single tube and requires no specialized lab equipment, making it easily deployable for point of care, on-site or even at-home testing. Sorrento will market the technology under the name COVI-TRACE.

“Testing for SARS-CoV-2 needs to be fast, frequent, and far-reaching,” says Zev Williams, director of the Columbia University Fertility Center and lead developer of the test. “We are delighted to work with Sorrento Therapeutics in the hope that COVI-TRACE may be scaled and deployed in the U.S. and around the world to combat the spread of COVID-19.”

In preliminary studies, the test was found to have 97% sensitivity and 100% specificity out of 60 samples, as well as the ability to detect as few as one or two copies of the virus in a microliter of saliva.

Henry Ji, chairman and CEO of Sorrento, comments, “We are building a portfolio of highly relevant COVID-19 solutions that spans diagnostics, prevention, early intervention and rescue therapies. COVI-TRACE will be a key asset in our diagnostic solutions, and we intend to move rapidly to submit an emergency use authorization request to the FDA and prepare for full-scale production. Such a simple, deployable and cost-effective solution, in synergy with our potentially neutralizing antibodies, could become the ‘economy opener’ our country has been waiting for.”

Source: Sorrento Therapeutics

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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