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Fast Test Solution at Centre of Finnish Research
May 18 2020 Read 354 Times
Development of a rapid test for the coronavirus has been commenced by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland together with MeVac, the joint vaccine research centre of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) and the University of Helsinki.
Based on detecting the viral antigens of the COVID-19 virus, the test will provide healthcare professionals with an accurate, fast and resource-efficient method to detect coronavirus infections early. “As the situation with the epidemic began to worsen internationally, we started looking for solutions within our area of excellence,” said Dr. Leena Hakalahti, the head of a research team on biosensors at VTT. “We have expertise in antibody development and production, as well as previous experience in designing diagnostic tests. It was an easy decision for us to start working on the COVID-19 antibody.”
Initially designed for use by healthcare personnel it is expected to yield results in 15 minutes or less, which is significantly faster than existing tests. The first versions of the test are expected this autumn.
“As the research progresses, we will explore the possibility of using the developed antibodies not only for testing, but also for the treatment of the coronavirus disease,” said Olli Vapalahti, professor of virology at the University of Helsinki.
Once the technology has been completed, the same development process could be quickly applied to diagnose also other viruses. The team is actively seeking Finnish companies to join the co-operation, along with additional funding.
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