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Wed 10 Jun 2020 08:04 AM

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UAE-developed tech to support faster Covid-19 testing

G42 and Nanopore Technologies have developed a population-scale technology to detect SARS-CoV-2

UAE-developed tech to support faster Covid-19 testing

Population-wide testing can help break the transmission patterns of the virus, reducing the number of cases when used in conjunction with a rapid public health response.

UAE-based Group 42 and Nanopore Technologies, from the UK, have developed a population-scale technology that detects SARS-CoV-2, the deadly virus that causes Covid-19.

The innovation, which will be officially launched within weeks, uses the LamPORE assay, which is based on the LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) technique and Oxford Nanopore’s rapid sequencing platform, in combination with the high-throughput automation, sample processing and reporting workflows developed by G42, a leading AI and Cloud Computing company.

Population-wide testing can help break the transmission patterns of the virus, reducing the number of cases when used in conjunction with a rapid public health response.

Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore, said: “Precise and cost-efficient population-scale testing is key to a responsible easing of restrictions, to protect the health of populations and supporting the re-opening of global economic activity.

The new solution, based on the LamPORE assay, is being incorporated into the UAE national testing strategy and, through the G42 facility in Abu Dhabi, the programme is expected to scale to hundreds of thousands of samples daily.

The companies are also working on production capacity to take the technology to a global audience.

Peng Xiao, CEO of G42, said: “This breakthrough solution is a result of the tireless effort by our joint teams under the extraordinary pressure of Covid-19. The worst of the pandemic has brought out the best in us. We believe this capability will not only enable large-scale screening of SARS-CoV-2, but also fundamentally shift the paradigm on health diagnostics in general.”

The LamPORE assay can be performed on the extracted RNA from swabs, and it is also in development to work directly from saliva.

Furthermore, it can be used to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on surfaces, or in systems such as water and sewage treatment facilities.

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