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15-minute COVID-19 Test Enables Highly Sensitive PCR Testing at POC Outside Laboratory Environment

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 26 Apr 2021
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Image: A nasal swab being processed by DASH at a sample collection site (Photo courtesy of Business Wire)
Image: A nasal swab being processed by DASH at a sample collection site (Photo courtesy of Business Wire)
A new SARS-CoV-2 test allows highly sensitive PCR testing to take place at the point-of-care and outside the traditional laboratory environment.

Minute Molecular Diagnostics, Inc. (Evanston, IL, USA) has been awarded a USD 21.3 million contract from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADxSM) initiative for the company’s DASH (Diagnostic Analyzer for Specific Hybridization) point-of-care PCR system for COVID-19 testing. The contract supports further development of Minute Molecular’s DASH SARS-CoV-2 test.

The DASH system is the result of collaboration between Northwestern University’s Center for Innovation in Global Health Technologies (CIGHT) and Minute Molecular. The DASH system is an innovative point-of-care PCR testing system that is able to provide central lab precision in approximately 15 minutes. The DASH platform is adaptable to other infectious viral and bacterial agents (Flu A/B, RSV, HIV, STDs, MRSA, Cdiff.), sample types (nasal swab, saliva, whole blood, etc.), and can also quantitatively report a viral load (HIV). The RADx Tech contract will enable the development and manufacturing scale up of a highly sensitive COVID-19 detection system.

“We are pleased to receive support from NIH through the RADx initiative to scale our innovative technology during this critical time of need,” said Dr. David Kelso, co-founder, President, and CEO of Minute Molecular Diagnostics. “DASH performs point-of-care PCR testing for COVID-19 in approximately 15 minutes, providing an important, new tool for safely re-opening K-12 schools, universities, and workplaces.”

“DASH enables non-laboratory personnel to insert a nasal swab specimen directly into our test cartridge and then load the cartridge into the DASH instrument, providing an accurate result in about 15 minutes,” said Dr. Sally McFall, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Minute Molecular. “The simplicity of the DASH test allows PCR testing to go where antigen tests go now.”

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