Biotechnology company Mylab Discovery Solutions on Wednesday launched a new Covid-19 test, CoviSwift, that speeds up the testing time. This is around four times faster than the traditional method of RT-PCR testing, while maintaining accuracy. It can processes 16 samples in 40 minutes, from swab to report. The test has been developed and patented by Mylab. CoviSwift comes with a shelf life of 24 months and for the first time in its category, it can be stored at room temperature, the company said.
Hasmukh Rawal, managing director of Mylab, said with this solution they had solved problems associated with RT-PCR testing. RT-PCR test components need to be stored and transported at -20 degrees at all times, but their CoviSwift tests are stored and transported at room temperature, he said.
“Infrastructure had been a challenge in expanding the reach of RT-PCR in India. RT-PCR labs need to have special medical grade clean rooms. But this Point of Care (POC) test can be done in a regular lab in hospitals or even makeshift labs. So RT-PCR testing could now go to the small towns and villages where cold chains are not available or in places where electricity is not continuously available,” Rawal said.
Mylab said CoviSwift was the world’s first high-throughput POC testing solution for Covid-19 that would enable small labs and collection centres to carry out Covid-19 testing. It was now possible to increase testing capacity in India from 3,000 labs to 60,000 labs. CoviSwift’s accuracy and sensitivity made it suitable for airports, hospitals and universities, the company said.
Mylab’s solution comprises the CoviSwift assay and Compact-Q machines, which process 16 samples within 40 minutes. Mylab’s testing machine was the size of a regular kitchen toaster and a plug-n-play device. Unlike the traditional RT-PCR, which needs highly-trained technicians who can handle reagents at one-hundredth of a drop, this kit comes with patented tubes and can be handled by anyone.
Mylab has developed software to interpret the results automatically without any expertise in molecular diagnostics. The user just needs to take the nasal sample into tubes, mix and put it into the Compact Q. It will be available in a pack of single tests with all components, so that labs don’t have to manage reagent storage and logs.
CoviSwift would ensure a reliable solution of testing at the port of entry and limit the spread of the next variant as the new test was driven by RT-PCR gold standard technology, unlike the Rapid PCR methods that were currently being used at airports. Rapid PCR/LAMP is usually single-gene based, whose in-field accuracy was nowhere close to RT-PCR gold standard, he said.