Fluxergy Inc. said Thursday that it has won CE-IVD marking for its one-hour COVID-19 real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. The automated, sample-to-action Fluxergy diagnostic testing system can run multiple assay types – such as molecular, immunochemistry, chemistry and cytometry – simultaneously on the same cartridge. The SARS-CoV2 RT-PCR test is the first CE-marked product for the Fluxergy diagnostic platform.
Visby Medical Inc. secured $12.3 million in funding from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop a next generation device to detect influenza and COVID-19 in a single point-of-care rapid PCR test and, subsequently, as an over-the-counter test for consumer use. The contract may be extended up to a total of $48.7 million over a period of 38 months based on meeting certain milestones in the base period, according to Visby Founder and CEO Adam de la Zerda.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has inked a definitive agreement to acquire Mesa Biotech Inc., a privately held molecular diagnostics company with a point-of-care (POC) platform, for approximately $450 million in cash. The scientific instruments and testing giant said it will pay an additional $100 million in cash upon the completion of certain milestones. The planned acquisition will expand Thermo Fisher’s franchise of diagnostic test options with a novel platform that enables nucleic acid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing at the point of care.
Two-Photon Research Inc. (TPR) has launched a diagnostics platform it said improves coronavirus detection via aptamers, small molecules that change shape when binding to a protein at the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 molecule that causes COVID-19. Light shone onto a vial containing a patient’s saliva and the Aptamer Molecular Photonic Beacon (AMPB) generates negative or positive results that are instantly displayed on a smartphone and stored for planning purposes by public health officials.
Salient Bio launched a robotics-driven PCR test for COVID-19 with 99% for use in mass testing for the virus. The company says the "fastest ever" test notifies users of test results in less than a day and is priced to be cost effective for businesses. Salient plans to expand the number of tests utilizing the modular diagnostics platform in 2021 to include a range of pathogens. Even with vaccines on the horizon in the coming months, the London-based company expects brisk demand for its product.
The U.S. FDA’s stated policy is that it will not review emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for lab-developed tests (LDTs) for the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean labs are completely shut out. The FDA’s Toby Lowe said that a lab that wants to pair an assay that already has an EUA with a new software installation on lab instrumentation can work with the assay developer to update that EUA.
The U.S. FDA moved the goal posts for other companies with its expansion of the emergency use authorization for Helix Opco LLC’s COVID-19 test to include both unsupervised self-collection of samples and testing of asymptomatic individuals. The new indications promise to make the Helix test the preferred tool for schools, universities, and work settings by reducing costs and increasing flexibility.
Visby Medical Inc. emerged from stealth mode to secure emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. FDA for its Personal PCR device for detection of COVID-19 infections. It is the first FDA-authorized portable device to use the polymerase chain reaction technology for COVID-19 testing. The San Jose, Calif.-based company was known as Click Diagnostics Inc. until March 2020.
Next-generation sequencing may help provide clinicians with a speedier answer as to the identity of the second pathogen, a service that may prove critical to suppressing the fatality rate in this and in future pandemics, according to Robert Schlaberg, chief medical officer of IDbyDNA Inc., of Salt Lake City.