Sense Biodetection has joined forces with Phillips-Medisize, a medical device company of Molex, to scale-up the production of instrument-free, point-of-care molecular diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2, a virus that causes COVID-19.

Sense has developed Veros SARS-CoV-2, a simple disposable test that uses a nasal swab sample to deliver ultra-rapid results and does not need any instrumentation.

The company has partnered with Phillips-Medisize to meet the growing demand for rapid diagnostics amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Sense chief executive officer Harry Lamble said: “Our VerosTM COVID-19 test product can allow infected patients to be isolated sooner whilst providing reassurance to uninfected individuals including healthcare workers that they can return to work without infecting others.

“Due to its flexibility, speed and accuracy, the test can be deployed for rapid patient triage within hospitals as well as primary care practices, pharmacies and community centres and even distributed for use by individuals in isolation who suspect they may have COVID-19.”

Sense’s Veros SARS-CoV-2 test is equivalent to Gold Standard laboratory tests

The Veros SARS-CoV-2 test is said to leverage the advanced chemistry and device technologies developed by Sense over the last six years for other infectious disease applications including influenza.

The company claimed that the performance of its new molecular test is equivalent to Gold Standard laboratory tests, and is easy to use in any setting, where results are available within 10 minutes.

In addition, the new COVID-19 product is expected to be one of the first tests to be marketed by the company under its Veros brand.

Sense is a molecular diagnostics company established in 2014 by Harry Lamble and Ralph Lamble, who have expertise in molecular sciences and medical device design.

The company is engaged in developing advanced diagnostic products, including simple, ultra-rapid, handheld tests, which remove the need for advanced hardware to determine a result.

Sense had closed a Series A investment round, co-led by Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and Earlybird at £12.3m ($15.3m) in 2019, to expand its operations.

CIC investment partner Mike Anstey said: “Sense is developing a product that will be hugely important to the global effort to contain COVID-19 in the coming months and potentially years.

“CIC and co-investors Earlybird, Mercia, and Jonathan Milner are working closely with Sense to ensure it has all the resources it needs as it accelerates towards launch of the first disposable nucleic acid test for COVID-19.”