AnteoTech said its technology would be able to detect the virus in people who had not yet shown any symptoms.
The obvious benefit of this being that a person could be treated and quarantined much earlier in the cycle. Current tests can only detect it in the five to seven day range when symptoms emerge.
Anteotech managing director Derek Thomson said the viral load increased with time so a person who was newly infected had a very low viral load.
“If you can detect a low viral load you can detect a person carrying the disease much earlier in the cycle,” he said.
How early it can detect the virus will be the subject of further testing in a clinical trial, but he said the sensitivity of the technology was “much higher than other point-of-care tests”.
“We will definitely be able to detect the antigen before the onset of symptoms,” he said.
“Our results are indicating we will be able to detect it in that timeframe but we have to validate it in a clinical trial.
“We are planning to do that in November or December.
“We have approval from TGA for a lab-based trial for emergency use. We will do that. Once we are operating they will ask us to do a proper patient swab sample clinical trial.
“We are planning it will be used by the public in the first quarter of next year.”
Manufacturing will initially be done in Europe but then brought back to Australia.
“There are already COVID-19 antigen tests in the market. They are coming out of the US. There are only four using the technology we use and of those four we believe ours is the most sensitive,” Thomson said.Jump to next article