Real-Time Analyzers, a provider of chemical and biological agent analysers to the US military, has announced the development of a new simple-to-use saliva-based Covid-19 test kit.

The company’s Covid-19 saliva antigen test kit comprises a straw-like tube for the collection and transferring of saliva to a sample vial.

A buffer will be added to the sample vial to inactivate the virus in the saliva, while a pipette will be used to deliver a few drops to a pregnancy-style test strip.

Saliva is said to flow across the strip to produce a test result between 15 and 20 minutes. One visible line on the strip shows that the user is not infected, while two visible lines indicate that the user is infected.

The rapid Covid-19 saliva is suitable for the workplace, schools, sports teams and events

The company’s Covid-19 saliva antigen test, which is presently under the second stage of FDA testing, is suitable for the workplace, schools, sports teams and events. The firm is expecting approval for the test in November this year.

Upon approval, the company intends to provide a single kit at a cost of $50 and as low as $10 per kit for volume orders.

Real-Time Analyzers president Dr Stuart Farquharson said: “The absence, to this point, of a rapid and accurate self-test has been the predominant challenge in controlling the spread of Covid-19.

“With our new saliva-based test, users can quickly and easily determine if they are infected with Covid-19, helping to prevent further spread and enabling those who test positive to make an informed decision regarding personal contact and more quickly begin the process of contact tracing. For those not infected, the test can provide a welcome measure of personal relief.”

In September this year, Curative, a startup established for Covid-19 testing, begun a research study to evaluate the efficacy of self-collected Covid-19 tests.

Real-Time Analyzers is involved in the development of spectroscopy-based products for chemical, biochemical, and pathogen analysis.

The company supplied multiple analysers to the US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, for use in the Middle East. It also provided analysers to the Australian, Canadian and the UK governments, and NASA.