20-minute COVID-19 test can be ‘rapidly deployed’, according to Horsham manufacturer

A Horsham-based company has claimed to have developed a new quicker test for coronavirus that can be rapidly distributed across the UK.

Optigene said they have produced a ‘swab-to-result’ test that produces results in less than 20 minutes.

The manufacturer said there is no shortage of chemical reagents, and the test could be rapidly deployed around the UK to significantly increase capacity to diagnose the Covid-19 virus.

OptiGene said nearly 300 patient samples can be processed in an hour on a single instrument.

The manufacturer added:

“The test takes less time to complete than any equivalent method currently in use.

“This specific and extremely sensitive test can operate directly from nasal and throat swabs to produce results in less than 20 minutes.

“Unlike the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that has already been deployed for diagnosing the virus, the OptiGene procedure uses isothermal LAMP technology that does not require expensive and time-consuming RNA extraction and is inherently much faster than PCR.

“All of the reagents are manufactured here, making it widely accessible.”

The company said their ‘Genie’ test passed validation and is ready to be utilised.

A discussion with Public Health England is supposedly ongoing.

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