UK-based genetics testing company DnaNudge has teamed up with NantNudge to develop a handheld PCR testing device that works based on personal genomics at point-of-decision.

DnaNudge, a spin-out of Imperial College London, developed a DNA testing service that uses consumers’ own DNA combined with lifestyle factors to help people adopt healthier choices.

The service analyses the users’ genetic profiles for nutrition-related health traits, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol, along with skin-related conditions, to guide them towards healthier, more personalised product choices during shopping.

The DNA testing service has been used in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, with the development of the rapid, lab-free CovidNudge RT-PCR test.

Under the partnership with DnaNudge, NantNudge will provide rapid, lab-free point-of-decision diagnostics to customers worldwide, including Central, South, and North America and Africa.

It will develop, manufacture, and supply advanced medical and consumer diagnostic and predictive software and services for improving a healthy lifestyle, including diet and skin care.

NantNudge will provide its NantBeam device, which uses AI data to provide information about food and cosmetic products for a healthy lifestyle based on the user’s personal genomics.

It will manufacture the portable NantCartridge, its hand-held genomics PCR device for point-of-decision, and NantChip, the lab in a cartridge for medical, healthcare, and consumer markets.

The company is planning to launch its Quad test this year, which allows for quick detection of SARS-CoV-2, FluA, FluB, and RSV using a single cartridge, after securing regulatory approval.

Furthermore, NantNudge and DnaNudge will initiate a co-development programme to create rapid out-of-lab testing panels to address global health challenges, like infectious diseases, precision medicine, oncology, diabetic foot and uterine infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and antimicrobial resistance.

NantWorks and NantNudge founder Patrick Soon-Shiong said: “This genomics PCR device, I believe, will be an inflection point for capturing genomic signals on a very personalised basis and transforming how we work, live, and play.

“I am proud to have been associated with Imperial College of London for all these years, and I am excited that together with Chris and his team, we will accelerate the clinical adoption of this first-in-kind PCR device.”

DnaNudge co-founder and chairman Chris Toumazou said: “This is a momentous day, both in terms of DnaNudge’s commercial journey and for realising our ambition of transforming global access to life-changing – and life-saving – near-patient diagnostics.”