Harvard University spin-out company Rhinostics has licenced a novel nasal swab from US-based consumer goods company Procter & Gamble (P&G).

iMFLUX, a subsidiary of P&G, has developed a novel fully injection-moulded polypropylene nasal swab to address supply shortages and improve the speed of Covid-19 testing.

Developed mainly for Covid-19 testing, the novel swab facilitates easy collection from the front of the nose and offers sample concentration of up to 30 fold over other swabs in viral transport media.

The novel nasal swab is said to feature unique features, which enables it to be used for both PCR and antigen-based assays.

Nasal swabs help reduce handling and lab processing cycle time

The swabs will help minimise handling and lab processing cycle time and enhance lab capacity as new home collection kits enter the virus detection market.

Rhinostics is planning to register the P&G polypropylene nasal swab as a Class I Exempt medical device and will seek emergency use authorisation (EUA) for home collection with rPT-PCR testing.

The licencing agreement is believed to help address the challenges of the constrained market, as well as boost test results and serve as a solution for future testing requirements such as influenza.

Rhinostics CEO Cheri Walker said: “P&G and iMFLUX have been vital partners in helping Rhinostics launch the manufacturing of its nasal swab collection products. We believe there is a significant opportunity to bring new collection devices like the P&G nasal swab to clinical laboratory workflow.

“Not only does the nasal swab production help to relieve supply chain bottlenecks, the new design and polypropylene materials allows for comfortable collection and sample concentration due to dry shipment and improved release of viral particles.”

In September 2020, health technology company Color has secured emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration for its self-swab Covid-19 collection kit.