Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH) has said that its investee company Paraytec is aiming to prove the concept of a coronavirus (COVID-19) test it is working on with the University of Sheffield in early October.
The construction of a viral mimic of the same size as COVID-19 has been completed, said Braveheart, as has work on a CAPTURE module, a specialised surface coated with a macromolecule to which binds the virus very tightly. This virus-binding molecule is a COVID-19 DNA aptamer that has been supplied to Paraytec.
The next stage is the construction of Signal Generation components said Braveheart, which will accelerate the speed a test result comes back.
Construction of the Signal Generation module should be completed over the next month, it added, which will lead the way to establish proof-of-concept by early October.
In a statement, Professor Carl Smythe from Sheffield University said: "We continue to make progress in the development of this novel approach to testing for Coronavirus.
“A key requirement is the ability to deliver a test result with a very fast turnaround. The current gold standard uses PCR which involves repeated rounds of enzyme-catalysed production of DNA corresponding to known viral genes, a process that takes several hours, and requires access to highly specialised lab equipment.
“Our approach, in which viral attachment to affinity macromolecules may be imaged directly using a highly sensitive detection system, has the potential both to undertake many tests in parallel, as well as delivering results in minutes, all without the need for trained health professionals for their operation.”