Biocartis develops rapid Ebola virus triage test

Developed for Idylla platform the test aims at fast and accurate diagnostics in challenging environments

Biocartis, a Belgian developer of molecular diagnostic systems, is in the testing phase of a rapid Ebola virus triage test that it is developing with Janssen Diagnostics and the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp for its Idylla system.

The test enables healthcare workers in challenging environments to test blood samples and provide accurate and fast diagnosis of Ebola. The test combines the speed, sensitivity, accuracy and ease-of-use required for outbreaks where time is of the essence, the company says.

The test uses 0.2ml of blood that is added directly to the Idylla cartridge, which contains all necessary reagents for performing the analysis on Biocartis’ fully automated, molecular diagnostics system. A complete analysis of the sample takes around 90 minutes and the test can be operated in most settings, including in the field, making it suitable for use in regions with limited infrastructure.

Biocartis says the test could provide a sustainable solution for rapid detection of Ebola-infected patients even after the current outbreak. After testing synthetic virus samples in Belgium and the US, the company has now registered for field-testing in West Africa to gather additional clinical evidence for the test performance.

Biocartis’ Chief Executive Rudi Pauwels said: 'This test aims not only to improve the diagnosis of the Ebola virus for hard-pressed healthcare professionals in the field, but also to lay the foundations for a better and faster diagnostic infrastructure after the current outbreak has receded, both in this region and around the world. One of the lessons of the Ebola outbreak has been the urgent need for faster and more accurate diagnostics. Biocartis is pleased to be working, alongside prestigious partners, on what it believes could offer a viable solution for healthcare workers around the world to enable faster testing of infectious diseases in virtually any setting.'

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