Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on emerging solutions that mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Here, we are taking a look at some of the rapid testing kit solutions.
Heat Map: 5 Top Rapid Testing Kits
Using our StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 1.379.000+ startups & scaleups globally, we looked at innovations tackling the coronavirus pandemic. For this research, we identified 179 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & scaleups developing rapid COVID-19 testing kits. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 179 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Credo Diagnostics Biomedical – Molecular Diagnostics
To slow down the spread of a pandemic like the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, it is imperative that infected individuals are diagnosed as quickly as possible. Rapid testing kits provide a result within minutes to an hour, enabling early isolation of infected individuals. Startups across the world are working on molecular diagnostics that detect the viral genome or antibodies produced in response to the infection.
Credo Diagnostics Biomedical is a Singaporean company that manufactures and commercializes rapid molecular diagnostic solutions. VitaPCR enables the detection of infectious diseases in less than 20 minutes, with a hands-on time of 2 minutes. The VitaPCR SARS-CoV-2 assay facilitates the rapid and accurate screening of the COVID-19 strain. The startup also offers tests for influenza, human papillomavirus, and viral infections in cats and dogs.
Sona Nanotech – Nanotechnology-Based Diagnostics
Nanoparticles are amenable to modifications that make them specifically bind to certain molecules. This makes them particularly interesting for use in diagnostic, as well as therapeutic solutions. Startups are exploring nanotechnology-based diagnostics to offer rapid testing kits for COVID-19 that provide a visual result within minutes.
Canadian startup Sona Nanotech develops high-quality gold nanorods for diagnostic tests. It is working on a rapid test for COVID-19 that uses its proprietary nanotechnology for immunochromatographic assays. The screening test identifies patients at risk of COVID-19. In addition to diagnostics, the startup’s solution is applicable to drug delivery, phototherapy, and cell imaging.
Fluxergy – Lateral Flow Immunoassay
Lateral flow immunoassays are mostly qualitative tests that detect the presence of an analyte in liquid samples such as blood, plasma, or urine. These do not require specialized equipment or trained personnel, making them useful for rapid point-of-care (PoC) testing, most commonly in pregnancy test strips. For the diagnosis of viral infections like COVID-19, these tests detect immunoglobulins produced by the body in response to the infection.
Fluxergy is a US-based company that offers a portable platform for laboratory-level diagnostic testing. The Fluxergy Analyzer is a PoC device that detects analytes in samples on lateral flow analytes. It enables the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), immunochemistry, and cytology-based tests. The startup’s solution for coronavirus testing uses reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) to produce results within an hour and is under review for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
Indicate Solutions – Single-Use Disposable Device
Microfluidics-based diagnostics also offer significant benefits in rapid testing kits. It enables cost-effective, rapid testing with smaller sample volumes and faster turnaround times. Startups are developing disposable microfluidic cartridges that offer easy and convenient testing for a range of conditions, including COVID-19.
Spanish startup Indicate Solutions develops a single-use disposable device for in-vitro diagnostics. The hybrid microfluidics-lateral flow device does not need preprocessing of the blood, expensive equipment, or specialized personnel. RepViT, the startup’s coronavirus detection platform, takes a 3-minute protocol to diagnose the viral genome from nasal or buccal swabs.
Sherlock Biosciences – CRISPR
CRISPR, the acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is powering gene editing for applications in healthcare and biotechnology. It enables programmable and highly specific targeting mechanisms for genetic sequences, including pathogen genomes. CRISPR startups are exploiting the configurable nature of the system to offer rapid testing kits for efficient COVID-19 management.
Sherlock Biosciences is a US-based startup that uses its expertise in CRISPR to offer faster and more affordable diagnostic tests. It develops the INSPECTR platform that enables instrument-free, rapid diagnostic tests for a range of applications. The startup’s SARS-Cov-2 kit has received the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). It detects COVID-19 infection in the upper respiratory and bronchoalveolar samples within 1 hour.
How To Flatten The Curve?
This is an unprecedented situation for many of us across the world. The SARS outbreak in the early 2000s claimed 774 lives. That toll was enough to drive research & development and easier healthcare solutions. It is an encouraging fact that several telehealth, diagnostics, and remote health startups and emerging companies are able to respond during a pandemic. With hundreds of thousands of deaths already, we expect to see numerous new companies offering technology-driven solutions to help doctors, nurses, other health workers, and the larger public.