The Health Research Council, announced on Friday 17 April, that dnature diagnostics & research ltd were the recipients of funding for the purpose of developing a rapid, on-site DNA diagnostic test to detect the difference between influenza and COVID-19.
Currently testing can take 1-2 days from test to result, in many places around New Zealand, and the test needs to be run at a specialised laboratory. The delay in results means that self-isolation is required until results are reported. This project is looking to develop a sample to result method within 15 minutes.
Unlike other projects the rapid test that dnature is looking to develop will not require specialised testing equipment and therefore has the opportunity for widespread community surveillance in both cities and regional New Zealand. This data will be collected for the centralised surveillance of health in our communities.
While dnature is leading this project collaborators include Auckland, Gisborne and Dunedin based clinicians as well as principal scientists from ESR.
In addition to this funding, dnature has been actively involved in helping establish COVID-19 testing in New Zealand and has now launched their own testing kit. This kit has been validated and is showing very high sensitivity and test confidence due to the kit’s multiplex format (multiple tests in one tube). This new test will permit higher throughput testing in the current testing laboratories.