The university said it hopes to start product development in early 2021 and have an approved device available six months later.
Researchers at the British University of Oxford have developed a rapid test for COVID-19 that can identify the coronavirus in less than five minutes, researchers said Thursday, adding that it could be used in mass tests at airports and companies.
The university hopes to start product development in early 2021 and have an approved device six months later.
It will be able to detect the coronavirus and distinguish it from other viruses with high accuracy, the researchers said.
“Our method quickly detects intact virus particles,”
Rapid antigen tests are seen as key to conducting mass testing and economic recovery while the coronavirus is still circulating.
On Wednesday, Siemens Healthineers announced the launch in Europe of a rapid antigen test kit to detect coronavirus infections, but warned that the industry could struggle to meet growing demand.
Although the Oxford platform will not be ready until next year, tests could help manage the pandemic in time for next winter.
Hopes for a rapid spread of vaccines have recently failed as US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly said on Tuesday it had stopped three phases of antibody treatment due to an unspecified incident, the second in less than 24 hours after Johnson & Johnson clashed. with a similar problem.
Health officials have warned that the world will have to live with the new coronavirus, even if a vaccine is developed.
“A significant concern for the coming winter months is the unpredictable effects of the co-circulation of SARS-CoV-2 with other seasonal respiratory viruses,” said Dr. Nicole Robb of Warwick Medical School.
“We have shown that our analysis (test) can reliably distinguish between different viruses in clinical trials, a development that offers a decisive advantage in the next phase of the pandemic,” added Rob, who is working on the Oxford University device.
The virus is still spreading worldwide with more than one million deaths and 37 million infections. Many countries that suppressed their first outbreaks are now facing a second wave.
This week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions on controlling the rise in infections, with bars and pubs closing in the hardest-hit parts of England.
In the United Kingdom, Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer has called for a two- to three-week blockade to slow the pace.