New corona laboratory test: Fast and safe

Corona laboratory tests are scarce – but they are urgently needed to further reduce the number of new infections with COVID-19. One test method is a nasal and throat swab, a testing method which can reliably determine carriers of SARS-CoV-2. BAG Diagnostics has developed a new rapid test for this method. The Lich-based company is thus making an important contribution to identifying patients with COVID-19 reliably and quickly.

Just ninety minutes from test smear to result: The sooner doctors and patients know results, the sooner they can take action. This is extremely valuable time, especially for diseases such as COVID-19, since infected people are contagious before they develop symptoms themselves. “However, it’s at least as important that with ViroQ Sars-CoV-2 we have developed a test that provides reliable results,” says Dr. Nicolas Sachsenberg, managing director of BAG Diagnostics in Lich, Germany. The company’s new rapid test also checks whether there is generally sufficient cell material in the samples. According to Sachsenberg, very few tests can check for this at present. His test is thus closing a potential safety gap where patients have usually tested as falsely negative if the smear does not contain enough cells.

In addition, the laboratory test can be carried out on all standard equipment in clinics and laboratories, and it can even be shipped at room temperature. This should enable low transport costs and the simplest possible logistics process. “The entire logistics must be affordable for developing countries and aid organisations,” says Sachsenberg. “The testing quality should not suffer from the fact that cold chains, for example, are not continuous.”

Experience from Central Hessen for worldwide tests

BAG Diagnostics has decades of experience in the development and marketing of laboratory tests and has therefore cooperated with a range of laboratories and hospitals for ViroQ Sars-CoV-2. The so-called PCR rapid test – PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction – duplicates sections of the viral genome and labels these gene fragments with a fluorescent dye. The color signals in the test result finally show whether and in what quantity SARS-CoV-2 viruses are contained in the sample. 

According to Sachsenberg, several hundred thousand tests per week will be produced and delivered to customers in the future. BAG Diagnostics is thus making another innovative contribution from Central Hessen by helping to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. 

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