HiberGene Diagnostics to validate "near-patient" coronavirus test in China

HiberGene Diagnostics announced on Tuesday that it has expedited the design of a new, rapid molecular test to detect 2019-nCoV. The company noted that results are delivered within 60 minutes, without the need for segregated laboratory facilities or highly trained staff.

CEO Simona Esposito remarked that "using the template of our CE-marked [influenza and respiratory syncytial virus] tests, we have been able to develop a specific and sensitive coronavirus assay, which utilises our easy-to-use, freeze-dried reagent format to facilitate near-patient testing."

According to HiberGene, the loop-mediated isothermal amplification-based test uses the company's "proprietary reagent format and low-complexity sample preparation protocol to quickly detect the virus in clinical samples." The test will undergo clinical evaluation in China in collaboration with the company's local distribution partner, Medcaptain Medical Technologies.

Earlier this week, Cepheid said it is working on an automated molecular test for the qualitative detection of the new coronavirus, while Mobidiag is developing an assay on its Novodiag platform to quickly and simultaneously detect 2019-nCoV and influenza viruses.

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