Singapore-listed medtech company Biolidics recently launched its rapid test kit for COVID-19 and has entered into a manufacturer agreement with a diagnostic kit manufacturer to customize and manufacture the rapid test kits. The first batch of Biolidics’ rapid test kits is expected to be available in April 2020.
Biolidics has obtained provisional authorization from Singapore’s Health Science Authority (HSA) for its rapid test kit to be used in Singapore.
The medtech company, which focuses on diagnostic cancer solutions, is working closely with Clearbridge Health to obtain the relevant approval and/or authorization from the various health authorities in the region for the use of the rapid test kit.
WHY IT MATTERS
Currently, polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”) testing is used to confirm patients with COVID19 but it is a laboratory technique and requires laboratory specialists and dedicated medical testing equipment, hence PCR testing for COVID-19 generally requires at least 3 hours to obtain the test results.
Using serum, plasma or whole blood samples, Biolidics’ rapid test kit can detect COVID-19 with an accuracy of more than 95% in ten minutes.
The rapid test kit is easy to use and can enable more effective and efficient decentralized screening among suspected patients. For instance, it can be deployed for the screening of suspected patients in scenarios like border entry points or potential COVID-19 clusters.
THE LARGER PICTURE
The tiny nation-state of Singapore has developed (or is developing) a number of test kits for COVID-19, such as the Veredus Laboratories’ VereCoV detection kit, A*STAR and TTSH’s Fortitude Kit 2.0, and the ongoing development of a COVID-19 detection kit by iHealthTech researchers.
Earlier this month, the Singapore government also developed and launched a contact tracing app called TraceTogether, which saw a total of 620,000 downloads in just three days, according to a report by MobiHealthNews.
As of 30 March 2020 (12pm), Singapore has a total of 879 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 3 related deaths, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH). MOH has identified 12,984 close contacts who have been quarantined. Of these, 4,737 are currently quarantined, and 8,247 have completed their quarantine.
ON THE RECORD
“Testing for COVID19 is vital to track and contain the pandemic which has spread rapidly across the world. Utilizing Biolidics’ rapid test kit, we can enable point-of-care testing for larger pool of clusters, resulting in more effective and efficient decentralized screening among suspected cases. With faster and accurate results, it can guide treatment decisions and further enhance public safety measures,” said Dr Leong Man Chun, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Biolidics in a statement.