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Next Generation COVID-19 Antigen Test to Offer Even Greater Sensitivity

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 May 2022
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Image: Attobody platform produces highly diverse pool of antibodies (Photo courtesy of Alamar Biosciences)
Image: Attobody platform produces highly diverse pool of antibodies (Photo courtesy of Alamar Biosciences)

Easy-to-use and cost-effective rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are a key tool for controlling the spread of COVID-19, including in low resource settings. Second generation tests with even greater sensitivity are now in development leveraging the latest generation of engineered antibodies with ultra-high affinity and novel electronic lateral flow immunoassay (eLFIA) technology for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics.

Alamar Biosciences (Fremont, CA, USA) and Mologic, Ltd. (Bedford, UK) have entered into a collaboration to utilize Alamar's novel antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid (N) protein for Mologic's future COVID-19 RDTs. Mologic has already launched the COVIOS and COVIGO COVID-19 antigen tests for personal self-testing based on its lateral flow assay technology, utilizing high affinity, paired antibodies specific for the SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein antigen.

The collaboration will enable the development of second generation tests with even greater sensitivity by leveraging the latest generation of engineered antibodies with ultra-high affinity, discovered through Alamar's proprietary Attobody platform, together with Mologic's novel eLFIA technology. Alamar's proprietary Attobody platform produces a highly diverse pool of antibodies with single digit picomolar affinity and exquisite specificity. Compared to traditional antibody engineering, the Attobody platform deploys an accelerated antibody design and engineering process to generate novel antibodies without the need for affinity maturation.

"We are very pleased with the increased sensitivity attainable with Alamar antibodies, especially in view of the speed with which they can be developed," said Professor Paul Davis, Chief Scientific Officer & Co-Founder of Mologic. "We look forward to continuing our collaboration to create the road map for unprecedented speed of response to new pandemic threats of whatever origin. Fast-track discovery and deployment of antibodies with the highest possible affinity and specificity will be the central pillar of this new pandemic preparedness, very much aligning with Mologic's mission to better enable humanity to cope with the long-term presence of COVID-19."

"Rapid and highly sensitive COVID-19 detection will remain an essential global health challenge in the coming years, and we must learn from the global COVID-19 experience to ensure a better, robust pandemic preparedness," added Dr. Yuling Luo, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Alamar. "We are excited to continue working with Mologic to meet these needs."

Related Links:
Alamar Biosciences 
Mologic, Ltd. 

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