Irish company develops innovative Covid-19 test kit based on pregnancy test technology

An Irish company has developed a rapid test kit which uses pregnancy test technology to check for Covid-19

An Irish company has developed a test that can detect the new coronavirus in 15 minutes. The company has developed a Covid-19 test kit based on the technology used for pregnancy tests for rapid assessment of the virus in the body.

Assay Genie, a Reagent Genie brand invented by Colm Ryan and Seán Mac Fhearraigh, has been noted as a clinical weapon against Covid-19. The creators believe that the test kit could be released in just seven days despite it still being in the pilot phase.

After learning about the spread of the virus, the two creators decided to work on a rapid test kit to tackle one of the gravest crises humanity faces. The rapid test kit measures one drop of blood to assess if the person has coronavirus. The pilot test has revealed that the test time can be reduced from around four hours to a mere 15 minutes.

lab test
Lab test (Representational picture) Pixabay

The technology behind the testing kit

The kit uses colloidal gold immunochromatography to detect the virus. The test uses one drop of blood, and any change in colour would indicate whether the person has Covid-19 or not. The kit uses lateral flow technology. Ryan and Mac Fhearraigh hold PhD in biochemistry and are graduates of University College Dublin.

In an interview with The Irish Independent, the creators said that several people have contacted the creators from Irish hospitals and in the UK and around the world.

Ryan, one of the creators, also mentioned during the interview that "there's a global shortage of raw materials for the test kits being used currently, and I think some people don't realise the mammoth task involved in testing."

Once the kits are ready, they will be provided to hospitals and general practitioners. The creators were also contacted by large companies that want to use the kit on their employees to check if they have Covid-19.

The creators believe that the tests should be available for everyone including carers for the elderly and vulnerable. But for now, hospitals and GPs would have sole access to the test kits.

Presently, the virus can be detected through an advanced molecular technique called quantitative real-time PCR which takes four hours to deliver results but with the new kit, this can be changed.

Related topics : Coronavirus