Oxford scientists form spinout to launch rapid COVID-19 virus test


Oxford University Innovation (OUI), the research commercialisation company of the University, has supported the formation of a lean spin-out company named Oxsed Limited, a social venture to commercialise and distribute technology jointly developed at Oxford University and OSCAR for detection of COVID-19.

The test will soon be certified with CE-mark and be shortly available in quantity with the commercial product name Oxsed RaViD Direct. The test will cost no more than £20 per test, which is considerably cheaper than most of the products currently on market.

The Oxford-OSCAR team has designed primers with high specificity to confirm presence of the virus in infected people, adapted from an established technology known as RT-LAMP (reverse transcription-loop mediated isothermal amplification). It is a simplified one-step version of a viral RNA test and can be used in the field without specialist equipment or training. The simple colorimetric result is read by eye or fluorescent display, meaning there is no need for additional tools to analyse results. A blue tooth linked fluorescent detection instrument can link the test result into a laboratory information system, so that test results can be tracked.

This test produces results within 30-45 min. It detects SARS-CoV-19 with great sensitivity and specificity using throat/nasal swabs directly to identify individuals carrying the virus. Clinical trials gave comparable results with laboratory tests, demonstrating reliability.  And the results will be published shortly.



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