Hemex Health, Portland, Ore, and PAI Life Sciences, Seattle, have agreed to collaborate on the development of a rapid covid-19 diagnostic that can diagnose patients accurately, quickly, and inexpensively anywhere in the world, including low-resourced countries.
The test will run on Hemex Health’s Gazelle diagnostic platform, which combines testing with Cloud-based reporting in a reader smaller than a shoebox that is battery powered and chargeable with a cell phone charger. Gazelle combines miniaturized electrophoresis with automation and an easy video interface that can deliver results in 6 minutes. Gazelle eliminates the need for cold-chain transport, which is necessary for many diagnostic technologies but difficult to maintain in tropical climates. Gazelle allows for low-cost testing suitable for use in local health clinics, small labs, doctor’s offices, field hospitals, and emergency situations.
“When it comes to viruses, our world knows no boundaries,” says Patti White, chief executive officer of Hemex Health. “Healthcare workers and global health experts urgently want an affordable, easy-to-operate diagnostic platform that connects even the most remote village with public health so that new outbreaks can be identified quickly. The Gazelle platform combines artificial intelligence, Cloud-based data reporting, and miniaturized proven diagnostic technologies that will revolutionize diagnostics the way Smartphones changed communications.”
PAI Life Sciences is developing the biochemical assay required to accurately detect a protein on the surface of covid-19. “We are using a highly specific technology to recognize shed proteins from the virus that causes covid-19,” says Darrick Carter, PhD, president and chief executive officer of PAI Life Sciences. “This unique approach should be more sensitive than antibody-based tests, so it can identify even trace viral presence.”
Researchers expect to have the device ready for a clinical study within a few months.