Oxford Scientists Say They Created Test That Detects COVID In Under 5 Minutes

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Oxford University scientists have created a test to detect the coronavirus and other viruses in less than five minutes, the university announced Thursday.

Scientists in Oxford’s physics department created the test, which can find the virus that causes the coronavirus and differentiate it from “negative clinical samples” and “common respiratory pathogens,” according to the university, which touted the test as highly accurate. (RELATED: Two European Countries Report High Error Rate For Chinese-Supplied Coronavirus Tests)

“Unlike other technologies that detect a delayed antibody response or that require expensive, tedious and time-consuming sample preparation, our method quickly detects intact virus particles; meaning the assay is simple, extremely rapid, and cost-effective,” Achilles Kapanidis, an Oxford physics professor, said in a press release.

The researchers want to create “an integrated device” that can be used for testing purposes at places like airports “to establish and safeguard COVID-19-free spaces,” the release said.

“A significant concern for the upcoming winter months is the unpredictable effects of co-circulation of SARS-CoV-2 with other seasonal respiratory viruses; we have shown that our assay can reliably distinguish between different viruses in clinical samples, a development that offers a crucial advantage in the next phase of the pandemic,” Dr. Nicole Robb, a formal fellow at Oxford and professor at Warwick Medical School, said in the statement.

The scientists are collaborating with Oxford University Innovation as well as “two external business/finance advisors to set up a spinout,” according to the statement.

The statement further noted the scientists are looking for investment in order to speed up the process to have the test become “a fully integrated device to be deployed as a real-time diagnostic platform capable of detecting multiple virus threats.”

“They hope to incorporate the company by the end of the year, start product development in early 2021, and have an approved device available within 6 months of that time,” according to the statement.

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