A new rapid and low-cost COVID test has been developed by a Queensland company with the breakthrough expected to be used worldwide.
The EuGeni COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test is a single-use, disposable immunochromatographic rapid test intended to be used by healthcare professionals.
Immunochromatographic tests are based on the identification and detection of antigen-antibody immune reactions.
This test has multiple uses and captures both nasal pharyngeal and saliva samples.
As part of an investigation into tests for sepsis, AnteoTech used their technology to develop an antigen test that could deliver COVID-19 results within 15 minutes.
Results from the rapid tests identify the presence or absence of the COVID-19 antigen. The test has an overall sensitivity rate of 97.3 per cent and a specificity rate of 99.6 per cent.
Following the launch of the EuGeni testing platform on Wednesday, AnteoTech has been greenlighted for sales across Europe and aims to enter the US and Australian markets by mid-year.
“This is a major milestone for the company,” CEO Derek Thomson said.
“Our sights (are) set on finalising approvals here in Australia and in the US, where our technology is already being used by another Brisbane company (Ellume) to target the home test market.”
Mr Thomson said the company would use the platform to produce multiple tests, one of those being tests for sepsis.
“Sepsis is a condition that has a higher mortality rate in the world than COVID-19. So, we will be releasing that test next year,” he added.
AnteoTech’s coronavirus test is suited for use at mass gatherings or when people need to cross national or international borders.
The Queensland government is supporting the development with a $1.4 million grant to help push the test through to the commercial sales stage.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the state had an obligation to step up.
“We realised we had an opportunity here in Queensland, indeed an obligation to step up, and to do the technology development that the rest of the world would need as they continue to battle the pandemic,” he said.
“We’re incredibly proud to have been able to support them, really proud that a Queensland company will be helping the rest of the world.”
Mr Thomson pointed to the test’s high sensitivity.
“So it picks up, you know, virtually everybody that needs to be tested,” he told reporters.