genedrive PLC (LON:GDR) said it is now generating “very promising data” from its coronavirus (COVID-19) test, targeted for release in the first quarter of next year, having recently completed the assay design.

Using the point-of-care technology, results can be generated in 15 minutes for a positive sample, while a negative takes five minutes longer.

The kit has been developed to detect SARS-CoV-2 amplified directly from saliva without the need to extract viral RNA.

The simplicity and speed of the test mean results can be delivered while the patient waits, rather than material having to be shipped and then assessed, which takes at least 24 hours.

The full release of the final CE-marked product is expected in the first quarter of next year.

“Rapid testing for current infection is a cornerstone to any track and trace programme, to quickly accessing current infection, to limiting infection, and to giving assurance to people concerned about their status,” said David Budd, genedrive’s chief executive in a statement.

“We believe the Genedrive POC solution can contribute significantly to the ongoing management of this global health crisis.”

In the same announcement, the company said it is working on a “version-two” advance would accept a freeze-dried PCR bead format previously developed for the high throughput Genedrive 96 SARS-CoV-2 Kit.

This would allow for lower production costs and “highly scalable manufacturing capacity”, investors were told.

“Genedrive add that the current POC test reads out a positive sample in circa 15 minutes (and a fully negative result achieved in circa 20 minutes) with the limit of detection being in line with the UK’s MHRA Target Product Profile sensitivity requirements (over 98%, we understand),” analysts at house broker Peel Hunt commented.

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