Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH) said it will share the latest study data from a photonics-based COVID-19 test being developed by subsidiary Paraytec and Sheffield University with potential partners.
A longitudinal clinical study, where patients are monitored over time, will also be carried out over three months, Braveheart said.
Once a contract with a partner is signed Parytec estimates it would take around a further six months to first product manufacture.
In the laboratory study, the Paraytec test achieved 94% sensitivity and 100% specificity, Braveheart said today, adding that these results correspond to clinical samples with viral loads of approximately 100,000 virions per millilitre or less.
This relatively low level of the virus is important it said as it means the test can identify people who are asymptomatic individuals or have an early-stage infection.
Lateral flow tests often only show high levels of sensitivity in clinical samples with relatively high viral loads (typically, 500,000 virions per millilitre and higher).
The Paraytec test is based on the principle of rapid labelling of a pathogen (in this case the SARS-Cov2 virus) with a light-emitting molecule.
The test can be used with various identifying agents such as aptamers or antibodies, Braveheart said, and this means it can be to identify new variants of COVID-19 that might emerge or for other pathogens.
Prof Smythe, leading the team at the University of Sheffield, commented: "We are very pleased with this latest data, which is based on the most recent design iteration of our signal generation module.
“Further improvements in performance sensitivity are already in the design pipeline for the sample acquisition element of the test."