ID Genomics is developing a dipstick-based rapid test that can identify large numbers of genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2. The company has received a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to help bring the test to market.
ID Genomics said the test can detect all current COVID-19 variants and has the potential to identify new ones. The test can detect the virus in two hours and does not require expensive instrumentation.
By using multiband dipstick DNA chromatography, the test can detect the presence of mutations without the need for sequencing. The mutational profile specific to each SARS-CoV-2 variant will result in distinct band combinations and intensities that can be automatically converted to a 2D barcode and interpreted using a smartphone camera app connected to a comprehensive database.
Furthermore, the test will require a standard, broadly available thermocycler instrument. For the development of the dipstick test, ID Genomics has partnered with IEH Laboratories, which has also developed a low-cost 1-4 sample thermocycler that will be adapted to the COVID-19 fingerprinting test.