Hong Kong-based genetics and diagnostic health testing company firm Prenetics has acquired Oxsed, an Oxford University spin-out.

Oxsed is a social venture company engaged in developing rapid Covid-19 testing platform by leveraging research from Oxford University.

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Prenetics and its UK business DNAFit Life Sciences (DNAFit) will obtain exclusive global rights to the Oxsed technology.

Oxsed is expected to maintain its focus on prioritising low- and middle-income countries, while Prenetics will join forces with Oxsed team to advance research and development to fight the global pandemic.

Prenetics co-founder and Group CEO Danny Yeung said: “We are immensely proud to collaborate with Oxford University and Oxsed. This is truly a game-changer and we aim to make the technology available to millions of people globally.

“Rapid, accurate, and frequent testing is one of our most important interventions to prevent large outbreaks and for the global economy. It’s our quest to help everyone in the new ‘normalcy’ and open borders for travel, schools, sports, events, elderly care homes and more.”

Oxsed RaVid Direct Testing Kit deploys RT-LAMP technology to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA

The Oxsed RaViD Direct SARS-CoV-2 Test is a rapid diagnostic assay developed by Oxford University for the in vitro qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2.

The test uses nasopharyngeal swabs, oropharyngeal swabs, along with saliva and mouthwash specimens collected from asymptomatic or symptomatic individuals.

University of Oxford’s department of engineering science and Oxford Suzhou centre for advanced research (OSCAR) professors Zhanfeng Cui and Wei Huang, led a team of researchers, who developed the test.

The team developed a viral RNA molecular test, called nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), using a reverse transcription, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) technology for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

Also, the Oxsed test has been developed to detect SARS-CoV-19 with superior sensitivity and specificity, with clinical trials validating the test to show 92-100% positive agreement.

The testing kit has been granted CE mark in the EU and MHRA in the UK, and the technology is already in use at London Heathrow for pre-departure passengers.

Oxsed co-founder professor Zhanfeng Cui said: “After months of intense work alongside with Prenetics, they are in no doubt the perfect partner to quickly roll out the Oxford Rapid test at scale, and help society resume a more normal way of living and productivity.

“Being a lifelong academic, I am very excited that Oxsed can provide a very well validated technology to the world.”