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UK Government to Roll Out Millions of 90 Minute COVID-19 Test Kits from DnaNudge and Oxford Nanopore

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Aug 2020
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Image: UK Government to Roll Out Millions of 90 Minute COVID-19 Test Kits from DnaNudge and Oxford Nanopore (Photo courtesy of Oxford Nanopore Technologies)
Image: UK Government to Roll Out Millions of 90 Minute COVID-19 Test Kits from DnaNudge and Oxford Nanopore (Photo courtesy of Oxford Nanopore Technologies)
The UK government has placed orders for millions of high-speed COVID-19 test kits from DnaNudge (London, UK) and Oxford Nanopore Technologies (Oxford, UK) to be used in NHS hospitals from September.

The order will see 5.8 million lab-free, rapid and reliable PCR test from DnaNudge that delivers results in under 90 minutes and can work in about an hour being rolled out across the UK in urgent patient care and elective surgery settings, with further deployments in out-of-hospital settings. The COVID Nudge test is a rapid, accurate, portable, out-of-laboratory, sample-to-answer RT-PCR test that delivers results on the spot, at the point of need and in just over an hour. This transformative, single-chip multiplex test not only enables a comparison of a sample against both the WHO and CDC assays but could also test for FluA, FluB and RSV. In addition, the chip includes a control assay for human RNA, which eliminates “false negative” results by testing for inadequate swabbing. With results delivered in a little over an hour, the DnaNudge test offers a major improvement on current lab-based PCR testing, which can involve a 1-2 day delay before returning results. DnaNudge, an Imperial startup headquartered in White City, recently obtained a CE mark for its COVID Nudge test, enabling its additional use in non-clinical locations, including care homes and other public emergency services.

The UK government will also roll out about half a million of the novel “LamPORE COVID-19” assay which provides precise detection of SARS-CoV-2 using Oxford Nanopore’s DNA/RNA sequencing technology. LamPORE is fully scalable and designed to enable both high-volume screening and rapid, local testing. LamPORE is designed to be deployed on Oxford Nanopore’s desktop device (GridION) or palm-sized device (MinION Mk1C), providing the capacity of processing up to 15,000 samples a day or 2,000 samples a day respectively. It is well suited to use in a central laboratory for high-throughput sample processing, or near-community ‘pop-up lab’. LamPORE results can be generated in under two hours. In addition, the “LamPORE Respiratory Panel”, currently in development, is designed to detect multiple viruses in a single sample; not only SARS-CoV-2 but also the most common winter respiratory viruses including Influenza A and B and RSV.

“The DnaNudge team worked with incredible speed and skill during the peak of the pandemic to deliver this highly accurate, rapid COVID-19 test, which requires absolutely no laboratory or pipettes and can be deployed anywhere with a direct sample-to-result in around just over an hour. We have been able to successfully adapt our in-store consumer DNA testing technology – which identifies genetic risks for chronic conditions related to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes – and validate it for detecting COVID-19 with gold-standard accuracy,” said Professor Chris Toumazou FRS, CEO and co-founder of DnaNudge and founder of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London. “We are extremely proud to be playing such a pivotal role in supporting the national effort on testing, as this major contract award signifies. With the ability to test not only for COVID-19 but also FluA, FluB and RSV on the same single COVID-19 Nudge cartridge, our multiplex test offers a vital solution to protect the NHS as we head into the flu season.”

“We are honored to be playing a part in fighting COVID-19 in the UK, and preparing the country for the winter virus season. Ever since we founded Oxford Nanopore, our mission has been to create disruptive, high- performance technology that has a profound, positive impact on society. LamPORE has the potential to deliver a highly effective and, crucially, accessible global testing solution, not only for COVID-19 but for a range of other pathogens. We are delighted to be working with the UK government to support and empower our communities to effectively manage testing at a national and localized level,” said Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore.

Related Links:
Oxford Nanopore Technologies

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