Tech Transfer eNews Blog

University of Oxford researchers develop “extremely rapid” COVID-19 test


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: October 21st, 2020

Researchers at the University of Oxford are developing a rapid throat swab test for COVID-19 that reportedly can produce results in less than five minutes.

The test is able to identify SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, with “high accuracy,” the researchers say in a preprint study that is yet to be peer reviewed. Through machine learning software, the test can also differentiate the virus from other infections such as the flu, the researchers add.

Their goal is to eventually implement the test at airports, music venues and workplaces to quickly establish and ensure the safety of each space.

“Our method quickly detects intact virus particles, meaning the assay is simple, extremely rapid, and cost-effective,” says Oxford researcher Achillefs Kapanidis.

“A significant concern for the upcoming winter months is the unpredictable effects of co-circulation of SARS-CoV-2 with other seasonal respiratory viruses,” says Nicole Robb, assistant professor at Warwick Medical School and a co-lead on the research. “We have shown that our assay can reliably distinguish between different viruses in clinical samples, a development that offers a crucial advantage in the next phase of the pandemic.”

Oxford aims to start product development in early 2021 and come out with an approved, available device within six months.

Source: MarketWatch

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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