[WEDNESDAY 16 FEBRUARY 2022] LONDON, UK: Consumer genetic testing pioneer DnaNudge has launched its 90-minute PCR Covid-19 test in Australia through a new partnership with Pantonic Health.
CovidNudge is an RT-PCR point-of-care testing platform that delivers accurate results without the need for a lab or any manual sample pre-processing. The test has been made available to correctional facilities, the mining industry, and local aged care sector settings during Australia’s Omicron wave, which saw more than 175,000 new cases in a week at its peak.
The portable nature of the device means that PCR tests can now be conducted at the point of care, alleviating capacity constraints within the pathology testing network in Australia.
CEO and co-founder of DnaNudge, Regius (Royal) Professor Chris Toumazou FRS, FREng, FMedSci, said: “We are delighted to launch our technology in Australia through our partnership with Pantonic Health. The ability to rapidly identify COVID-positive individuals is of absolutely paramount importance, and key to infection control. We hope that by making our rapid, lab-free RT-PCR test more widely available, will offer further support to Australia’s Covid response.”
DnaNudge’s RT-PCR test - CovidNudge - consists of the DnaCartridge and the NudgeBox. The DnaCartridge is a disposable and sealed lab-on-chip device that enables sample-to-result PCR without the need for any transport medium or pipetting. It can multiplex up to 72 assays and detect every published Covid-19 gene and all known variants including Omicron as well as Influenza A, B and RSV. The NudgeBox is a standalone instrument that drives the DnaCartridge and runs RT-PCR tests. It is connected to the DnaNudge Cloud for processing the test results that can be made available simultaneously to a Laboratory Information Management System of hospitals, clinics, or the health authorities within 90 minutes of the test being taken.
CovidNudge is also able to pool multiple samples for evaluation in a single cartridge, making it the most cost-effective technology of its kind without compromising on accuracy.
To provide support and validate the technology, Pantonic and DnaNudge provided the test to select organisations in Australia’s local aged care sector during the height of their Omicron case wave. Whiddon Aged Care, a prominent provider of critical aged care services in NSW, used the DnaNudge testing units and cartridges over the challenging Christmas and new year period. The sample devices were provided on an independent, cost-free basis, allowing Whiddon to evaluate the DnaNudge technology alongside traditional laboratory-based PCR testing.
Chris Mamarelis, CEO of Whiddon Aged Care, described the DnaNudge technology as a “game changer” to the currently capacity constrained Covid testing landscape in Australia. He said: “CovidNudge is a pathology lab the size of a shoe box, giving us the rapid testing we need in the aged care setting. Results from the independent, side by side evaluation, showed the portable CovidNudge PCR device preformed as accurately as the traditional lab-based PCR tests at a considerable time and cost saving. We believe it should be deployed for every aged care facility and hospital across Australia as a matter of urgency.”
Sally Panton, co-founder of Pantonic Health, said: “We couldn’t be happier to have partnered with Professor Toumazou and the DnaNudge team. It’s clear we have an aligned value set between the two organisations. Pending our application with the TGA to approve the device for local commercial use, we are eager to see the DnaNudge rapid RT-PCR device deployed across Australian aged care, the Australian hospital network and large-scale corporates to support their immediate testing needs in this challenging period.”
Notes to Editors