New coronavirus test coming to fruition

UCI Professor Phil Felgner, director of the Vaccine R&D Center, is working with Chinese firm Sino Biological Inc. to produce genetic-focused microarray tests to distribute to China and international locations. The COVID-19 Coronavirus Antigen Microarray is a serological test that detects antibodies present in people who have had the virus. Unlike standard polymerase chain reaction tests, the microarray does not require reagents or nasal swabs for sample collection; it uses a drop of blood, pricked from a patient’s finger, to detect COVID-19. The test was validated with the Vitalant Research Institute in San Francisco, which has been involved in several validation projects.

The COVID-19 Coronavirus Antigen Microarray aims to provide valuable information on patient exposure, including asymptomatic patients. A batch of 4,800 tests has been produced so far. The technology could also be adapted to provide detection via cellphones in the future, according to UCI. Felgner is working with the Research Translation Group at UCI Beall Applied Innovation and has submitted a provisional patent for the technology.

Read more at Beall Applied Innovation: UCI Tech Can Provide Better Understanding of COVID-19 and Vaccine Possibilities