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Breakthrough Identification of First Saliva Activated Biosensor Molecules to Diagnose COVID-19 Paves Way for New Oral Screening Test

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 29 Jul 2021
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The breakthrough identification of the first saliva activated biosensor molecules to diagnose COVID-19 infection could pave the way for the development of biosensor screening test for SARS-CoV-2 and additional infectious diseases.

XPhyto Therapeutics Corp.’s (Vancouver, Canada) acquisition target, 3a-diagnostics GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany) has identified the first saliva activated “in-mouth” biosensor candidates for the detection of a COVID-19 infection. The enzyme-activated biosensors are developed for real-time, low-cost and easy-to-use oral screening applications for the rapid detection of infectious diseases including COVID-19 at home or at the point-of-care. In April 2020, XPhyto and 3a signed a definitive development, technology purchase and license agreement for the development and commercialization of real-time, low-cost and easy-to-use biosensor screening tests and related development platform for the rapid detection of infectious diseases. On July 20, 2021, XPhyto announced the signing of an acquisition agreement with 3a.

A comprehensive review of current COVID-19 detection methods from lab-care to point-of-care diagnosis published recently in the journal Science Direct, points out the significance of biosensor technology. As stated in the review, the conventional techniques for coronavirus detection like CT-scan, PCR, Sequencing, CRISPR, ELISA, LFA, and LAMP are not sufficient to meet all testing requirements. The urgent global need for rapid, accurate, and low-cost detection systems and the requirement to screen and rapidly identify current infectious disease and future pandemic threats lead scientists to recognize the need to advance new technologies. Biosensors in general, and 3a’s innovative biosensor system in particular, are a promising and reliable platform technology for accurate, early diagnosis and screening of infectious disease and offer advantages over traditional detection methods.

“We are delighted to announce the successful identification of the first biosensor candidates to diagnose COVID-19 which allows us to expand our portfolio of COVID-19 diagnostics in the future and to complement our recently launched rapid 25-minute PCR test, “COVID-ID Lab”. After optimization, we can assess the clinical performance of our new candidates and proceed with the commercial development of this novel screening test product,” explained Dr. Heinrich Jehle, Managing Director of 3a-diagnostics GmbH. “This is a major step forward in the development of next generation COVID-19 tests and we are optimistic that development will lead to new, low-cost, rapid, reliable and easy-to-use diagnostic options for low-threshold monitoring of the ongoing pandemic.”

“We believed in 3a’s research and development plan from the beginning, when we signed the first collaboration contract in 2020. Now that XPhyto has announced the pending acquisition of 3a, we are particularly excited about this development milestone,” added Wolfgang Probst, Director and Chief Operating Officer of XPhyto. “Successful validation of the first biosensor candidates demonstrates the expertise and scientific excellence at 3a. Since the co-developed and successfully approved German CE marked 25-minute PCR test in March of this year, this novel approach for oral biosensor screening is another important milestone towards development of tools to effectively identify infectious breakouts of COVID-19 to reduce the pandemic spread and help find our way back to the new normal.”

Related Links:
XPhyto Therapeutics Corp.
3a-diagnostics GmbH

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