As of 30th March 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak had caused over 735,000 infections globally, claiming more than 35,000 lives. By the end of July 2020 these numbers have increased globally to more than 17 millions infections and more than 660,000 lives have been lost due to the disease. Rapid and definitive diagnosis of the specific SARS-CoV-2 is essential, while identifying other common viral and bacterial pathogens is beneficial in the management of treatment and in timely isolation of infected patients with overlapping clinical symptoms.
A recent study has shown that 5.8% of SARS-CoV-2 infected and 18.4% of non-SARS-CoV-2-infected patients had other concurrent pathogen infections. Failure to distinguish different pathogens may lead to unnecessary antimicrobial use, cross-infection of mis-grouped patients and further spreading of the infection. Therefore, in response to the current outbreak, singleplex testing is not optimal, especially considering the virus may become permanently and globally endemic.
Simple, sensitive and multiplex detection of all respiratory pathogens is technically challenging. In response to the need for faster and better detection of multiple respiratory pathogens, GeneFirst has developed a prototype using its innovative proprietary technology - MPA (Multiplex Probe Amplification) - to simultaneously detect and differentiate SARS-CoV-2 as well as 30 other common respiratory bacteria and viruses.
This assay will allow for accurate, cost-effective and comprehensive diagnoses during the current outbreak as well as future routine diagnosis. In this project, the consortium aims to analytically and clinically validate (CE-mark) this assay on two automated platforms for Point-of-Care and core pathology testing. This strategy provides maximum flexibility in screening and triage, allowing better and faster care, alleviating pressures on healthcare systems and improving patient recovery rates. GeneFirst aim to commercialise the assay for £8.50 (€9.00) per test.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeIMI2-RIA - Research and Innovation action
29603 Marbella Malaga