Ottawa company readies a quick COVID-19 test
March 25, 2020
OTTAWA – Spartan Bioscience is weeks away from producing a mobile, hand-held testing kit that can tell people quickly if they have COVID-19, according to company CEO Paul Lem (pictured). The biotechnology company is now working with the Canadian Government to help combat the spread of novel coronavirus by developing the new testing tool.
Spartan Bioscience’s Cube platform could be ideal for fast and portable detecting of COVID-19. Lam says the Spartan Cube is a portable DNA testing technology designed for in-field diagnostic testing.
“What we’re working on here at Spartan is making this work with the COVID-19 test,” said Lam. A patient would take a swab of their cheek, place the swab into the test cartridge, drop it into the DNA analyzer, and “within 30 minutes you’d get your results for COVID-19.”
Lam says Spartan Bioscience could produce several thousand of the devices a week, and “also probably over 100,000 tests.”
When asked how long it would take to get the COVID-19 test machine out to market, Lam said within a “several week timeframe.”
Spartan Bioscience has been working on the DNA testing platform for the past 14 years.
“We’re using a recipe for the test that has been published by the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control). So there’s already a validated test, we just need to show it works on our device.”
Spartan Bioscience says the portable testing could be deployed at airports, cruise ships, military bases and other critical points of entry.