Queen’s University Belfast given funding to develop rapid test for Covid-19

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Queen’s University Belfast has received funding to develop a rapid diagnostic test for Covid-19.

The trial is aimed at finding a highly accurate test which can show results within an hour, eliminating the need to send tests to a laboratory.

Professor Cliff Taggart, lead researcher from the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s University, said: “The local availability, speed and accuracy of the test will help inform public health preparedness and response in the ongoing pandemic.”

The study is in partnership with HiberGene Diagnostics Ltd, Medcaptain in China, and Italian Hospital IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, which along with Queen’s, has been awarded 930,000 euros (£818,314) from EU H2020 for the project.

The test utilises Lamp technology and HiberGene’s proprietary technology know-how.

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HiberGene chief executive Seamus Gorman said: “We are delighted to lead an international consortium to quickly develop and bring to market a rapid, easy-to-use molecular diagnostic test for Covid-19 disease.

“Rapid diagnosis and reporting of results is the key to containing the Covid-19 disease and this test can play an important role in its diagnosis and control.”

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