Abu Dhabi’s G42 Healthcare has signed a preliminary agreement with Israel’s NanoScent to develop, distribute, and manufacture a COVID-19 test that can detect positive cases of the coronavirus from exhaled nasal air, the UAE state news agency WAM has reported.
Named Scent Check, the device works by reportedly detecting “a combination of volatile organic compounds – or ‘VOC Signature’,” from exhaled nasal air that comes from the host response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Captured through an “air trap”, Scent Check features a small bag fitted with a straw in which the subject blows nasal air. The result can apparently be provided within 30 to 60 seconds.
WHY IT MATTERS
According to the announcement, the “non-invasiveness and the rapidity of results give Scent Check the potential to transform the diagnostics industry globally.” Other advantages cited include the ability to test in small and large settings, as well as the test being affordable.
This latest memorandum of understanding (MoU) is amongst a series of deals between the UAE and Israel to tackle the pandemic, revealed during a statement announcing a normalising of diplomatic relations.
G42 Healthcare is currently spearheading the world’s first Phase III trials of a COVID-19 vaccine, following the apparent success of Phase I and Phase II trials conducted by China’s Sinopharm.
ON THE RECORD
“We are at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 and committed to developing impactful innovative programmes and solutions to improve and safeguard public health,” said Ashish Koshy, CEO of G42 Healthcare. “Through this collaboration with NanoScent, we will be adding another powerful solution to our comprehensive diagnostics portfolio, which already includes PCR and LamPORE testing.
“This partnership also reaffirms the need to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic through a joint global effort in which best-in-breed organisations share their expertise and technologies for the benefit of society.”