Dell and Intel Backing iAbra’s Virolens “20 Second” COVID-19 Test
- iAbra’s Virolens test is said to provide coronavirus results in 20 seconds
- Test had a three-week trial at Heathrow Airport and now goes to clinical trials
- Could replace the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) mouth swab tests
- Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye urged government to fast track Virolens to help ‘protect the economy’
One of the best kept COVID-19 secrets percolating overseas that has not yet hit mainstream media is how Heathrow airport has been carrying out trials of a coronavirus test that claims to provide results in as little as 20 seconds. It’s as simple as spitting into a collection tube. The concept is to screen passengers in lieu of a mandated quarantine. About 250 airport staff took part in the trial, choosing one of three different tests, which have yet to be proven effective. One self-administered test involves a “machine-learning holographic microscope” which, backers including Dell (NYSE: DELL) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) hope, can identify whether a person is carrying the disease and offer results in less than half a minute.
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye is urging the Government to fast track a Covid-19 test which gives results in 20 seconds. It comes after the Prime Minister announced plans for mass testing under so-called Operation Moonshot, in which millions of people could be tested every day so they could ‘behave in a way that was exactly as in the world before Covid’.
The new Virolens test, which is said to provide results in 20 seconds, launched on Wednesday following a three-week trial at Heathrow Airport.
The saliva test, developed with iAbra, a Bedfordshire-based technology company founded in 2010, Dell and Intel, US tech giants, is designed to be used at airports, offices, sports venues and other locations where people need to operate in close quarters. It intends to be “quick, easy, repeatable and low-cost”, with hundreds of tests per machine each day.
TT Electronics has been appointed as an exclusive manufacturing partner for the commercial launch of Virolens, the device being trialed. Virolens was created by iAbra and its partners University of Bristol, Dell and Intel.
Virolens is a machine learning holographic microscope that provides a self-administered test using a single use cartridge. Heathrow has been trialing Virolens alongside two other solutions, swab and saliva solutions Geneme and Mologic.
It’s main advantage appears to be speed. The Virolens test takes just 20 seconds to administer, with perhaps a similar amount of time needed to check results and change the cartridge for the next test. By contrast, Geneme and Mologic take approximately 30 minutes and 10 minutes respectively to produce results, so the advantage in dealing with many more arriving air passengers is clear. TT Electronics’s work was to design, develop and test the prototype Virolens screening device and to specify and design the manufacturing processes.
‘It is still fairly early in the process, with Virolens undergoing further trials alongside competing solutions, but the situation is said to be developing rapidly,’ said Numis analyst Richard Paige.
Internal testing of the system has shown 99.8% sensitivity and 96.7% specificity. It has also been trialed at London Heathrow Airport, but the system would need further trials to demonstrate its accuracy and effectiveness. According to TT Electronics, production has already started.
GLOBAL TESTING STATISTICS
According to Our World in Data, the world is on pace to do over a billion tests by the end of the year. With the ease of accurate 20 second tests compared to recent tests that delivered results in days or even a week+, it can only accelerate the amount of tests administered due to people being tested multiple times, especially if traveling.
Besides the health of every country’s citizens, the next biggest concern is getting the economy back on track, especially the travel, sporting event and restaurant industries. Having a means of testing someone even faster than the results from a pregnancy test is critical to getting the world back to a state of normality.
As many scientists have said, this virus is not going away anytime soon, testing will have to be administered often so that traveling can go back to normal, children can go back to school and people can get back to work. Inevitably, there will be 2nd waves this fall, as countries like France are already experiencing high outbreak numbers again. FRANCE has been rocked by almost 10,000 new coronavirus cases in just 24 hours – its highest daily toll since the start of the outbreak. Medics reported 9,843 new confirmed Covid-19 cases this evening easily beating the previous record of 8,975 set six days ago.
These news articles are plastered all over the UK press. US media hasn’t picked up on the linkage to DELL and INTC. The potential of a 20 second COVID-19 test is “priceless”. The existence of this test allows governments to loosen social distancing restrictions as they get used at schools, universities, airports, hospitals, sporting events… the list is endless! Since this technology is desired by every country in the world it’s crucial that the backers, Dell and Intel, are capable of scaling a rollout of this magnitude.
Looking at the charts, INTC has struggled a bit, but DELL is trending higher and when this news goes mainstream in the states, we anticipate an energy boost to DELL to break through the $70+ mark. DELL, known for their computers, has also seen great numbers due to lockdowns ultimately creating an “work at home” situation for workers and distance learning for students. If you want to or need to use ZOOM (NASDAQ: ZM), which has seen monstrous growth, you have to have a computer. DELL is winning in our opinion by diversifying into a biotech investment with the 20 second tests relationship while doing record sales in PC sales.
EmergingGrowth.com is a leading independent small cap media portal with an extensive history of providing unparalleled content for the Emerging Growth markets and companies. Through its evolution, EmergingGrowth.com found a niche in identifying companies that can be overlooked by the markets due to, among other reasons, trading price or market capitalization. We look for strong management, innovation, strategy, execution, and the overall potential for long- term growth. Aside from being a trusted resource for the Emerging Growth info-seekers, we are well known for discovering undervalued companies and bringing them to the attention of the investment community. Through our parent Company, we also have the ability to facilitate road shows to present your products and services to the most influential investment banks in the space.
This article was written by a guest contributor and solely reflects his/her opinions. All information contained herein as well as on the EmergingGrowth.com website is obtained from sources believed to be reliable but not guaranteed to be accurate or all-inclusive. The statements in this article are not that of, nor have they been verified by, or are the opinion of, EmergingGrowth.com. All material is for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell securities. The information includes certain forward-looking statements, which may be affected by unforeseen circumstances and / or certain risks. Please consult an investment professional before investing in anything viewed within.