High-accuracy DnaNudge RT-PCR test used by NHS available in-store now and by post within weeks for those without symptoms – test up to 10 people at one time from just £10 per person
LONDON, UK – November 10th 2020 – DnaNudge, developers of the rapid, lab-free CovidNudge test now in use in the NHS, today announces the consumer launch of the DnaNudge COVID “Bubble Test” – offering lab-standard, highly-accurate COVID-19 group testing on one cartridge for “bubbles” of up to 10 people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus infection. The breakthrough rapid DnaNudge RT-PCR test is now open for online booking and is available by appointment only from DnaNudge’s flagship store in London’s Covent Garden, and will be available as an at-home, by-post service throughout the UK within weeks. Up to ten people in a work, friends, family or other close contact bubble can be tested at the same time – on the same DnaNudge testing cartridge – scaling to as little as £10 per person, with results delivered in just over an hour.
DnaNudge’s new COVID pool testing method has been shown to successfully test up to 40 people at the same time, in some cases. The London Symphony Orchestra, which is being supported with regular COVID-19 testing by DnaNudge to enable its return to live performance, has played a key role in validating the new method – with forty of its musicians successfully tested at one time from ‘pooled’ individual sputum (phlegm) samples using a single “Orchestra on a Cartridge” test. Pool testing individuals for COVID-19 is being seen as a cost-efficient and effective way to significantly increase testing capacity, helping to maximize the number of people who can be tested over a given period while using fewer testing resources. Since the DnaNudge COVID test is a laboratory-standard PCR test, there is no requirement to run a confirmatory test in the event of a positive result. The reason that large numbers can be accurately pooled using the DnaNudge COVID test is because of its direct sample-to-cartridge operation, which suffers less from dilution effects than other sample pooling methods.
DnaNudge is currently rolling out 5.8 million rapid CovidNudge test kits across NHS settings in the UK, provided by DnaNudge to the NHS at cost in support of the national effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. By widening access to the DnaNudge rapid test to the general public with very low-cost pool testing options, DnaNudge is continuing its support for the NHS by reducing pressure on community-based testing systems and so ensuring that crucial NHS resources are not used inappropriately. The DnaNudge COVID testing service is available specifically for people without symptoms looking for reassurance about whether they could be infectious – including essential workers – or who require PCR test confirmation of their COVID-19 status before travelling abroad.
The CE-marked DnaNudge COVID test accurately detects the presence of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – from individual naso-pharyngeal, nasal or saliva swab samples within 90 minutes. For the DnaNudge COVID Bubble Test, sputum (phlegm) samples are provided in-store by all individuals in the testing pool – up to ten people at a time – and processed by DnaNudge on-the-spot in a single DnaNudge testing cartridge, using DnaNudge’s NudgeBox gold-standard RT-PCR analyser. For the soon to be launched at-home service, samples will be able to be provided securely by post. If a positive result is detected for the pool, swabs from each individual retained from the initial sample collection are processed to identify the positive case (or cases) within the ‘bubble’. Results are then communicated to individuals via text message, with information on appropriate action in line with government public health guidelines. The sputum testing method has been fully validated against DnaNudge’s proven individual nasal swab test – currently in widespread use in NHS hospitals nationwide – and found to deliver comparable accuracy.
Before attending an in-person testing appointment, customers must confirm that they are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 infection, and stringent safety measures to ensure the safety of DnaNudge customers and testing staff are in place throughout the store, including pre-entry temperature testing, rigorous hygiene and cleaning protocols, and appropriate use of PPE at all times.
DnaNudge CEO and co-founder Regius Professor Chris Toumazou comments: “Ever since this global crisis began and the scale of the public health challenge began to be recognised, DnaNudge has worked alongside front-line clinicians and tirelessly diverted our skills and energies into developing this DnaNudge COVID test that, today, is successfully boosting the country’s rapid testing capacity and helping to improve patient and staff safety right across the NHS. By making this transformative test more widely accessible, at very low-cost, our aim is to help improve the detection of asymptomatic yet infectious individuals and to support the huge effort to bring this virus under control and move us all forwards toward safety and a return to normality as soon as we possibly can.”
The DnaNudge COVID test is a rapid, portable, out-of-laboratory RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test that delivers results on the spot, at the point of need, and in just over an hour. A paper published by peer-reviewed journal The Lancet Microbe confirms that the test delivers highly accurate results, with an average sensitivity – the ability to correctly identify those with COVID-19 – of 94.4% compared against standard NHS lab-based tests, and a specificity – correctly identifying those without the disease – of 100%, meaning no false positives. The CE-marked CovidNudge solution is now being deployed UK-wide in NHS urgent patient care and elective surgery settings, plus out-of-hospital locations.
About DnaNudge (http://www.dnanudge.com)
DnaNudge is the developer of the world’s first service to use consumers’ own DNA plus lifestyle factors to nudge people towards healthier choices while shopping. The DnaNudge service analyses and maps users’ genetic profile to key nutrition-related health traits such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol, enabling customers to be guided by their DNA towards healthier eating. The service has been developed by world-renowned biomedical engineer Regius Professor Chris Toumazou FRS and published geneticist Dr Maria Karvela.
This ground-breaking in-store DNA testing service created to address an epidemic – obesity and Type 2 diabetes – has now been successfully adapted for the fight against a pandemic, with the development of the rapid, lab-free CovidNudge RT-PCR test. CovidNudge can accurately detect COVID-19 and other viruses in just over an hour, without the need for a laboratory, and is now in UK NHS roll-out.
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