From tomorrow 14 December daily testing will replace the ten-day self isolation period following contact with positive COVID cases.
Alex Sheppard and Dr Mona Omir from British health tech company Vatic were founding member of the UK Government’s Project Moonshot COVID-19 recovery team and will be releasing clinical trials on how the Vatic spike protein test, not only maintains but actually increases its already unique level of accuracy against mutations in January 2022. The test is UK developed, patented, designed and manufactured.
The KnowNow test is one of the most specific COVID-19 assays in the world (10099.9% specificity, and 0 false positives from 700 negative samples in clinical and analytical studies in clinical trials) avoiding costly false positives – vital for keeping society open and the economy strong in the UK and globally. The test works by detecting the spike protein of the virus that enters human cells, almost like a hypodermic needle, mimicking a human cell and ‘tricking’ the virus into reacting with it. Where most people are negative, even a low incident of false positives can create large-scale disruption as people have to isolate when they don’t have Covid-19.
Vatic’s ‘KnowNow’ test only identifies ‘infectious’ or ‘active’ copies of the COVID-19 virus. Other tests can pick up harmless viral fragments with the potential for users to test positive after the end of the window during which they are infectious. The detection mechanism of KnowNow is unique. Other antigen tests are designed using specific variants of the virus and may stop working and have to be redesigned if the virus mutates.
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Powerful testing can prevent anyone who is infected from mixing with others quickly and efficiently. It is reliant on high level of accuracy and the ability to maintain false positives against the new variant.
Vatic co-founder Alex Sheppard says: “As measures come into effect to combat the new variant, it is important to make sure that existing tools continue to work in a landscape of viral mutations. At Vatic we’ve been hard at work collecting data on how our KnowNow Spike Test performs against a range of mutations and we will soon be releasing a publication with our results. The more dominant strains of the virus are mutating towards better binding affinity between the cell invasion mechanism and the surface of a human cell. The virus is more effective at entering cells, which impacts on its replication capabilities and thereby infectiousness. Because the structure of the KnowNow test mimics a human cell as the virus mutates the test becomes more sensitive.”
Vatic’s Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Dr Mona KabOmir says: “TheKnowNow Spike Test uses the same principle as the viral entry on a lateral flow assay platform to detect the virus. In our case as the virus mutates and becomes more infectious, our test should get more sensitive. Our COVID-19 test is designed to overcome the challenges and delays that come with having to redesign tests or replace antibodies when the virus mutates.”