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Guelph-based 60-minute COVID test gets Health Canada approval

A mobile app pairs with the device to run and analyze each test

A COVID-19 test developed in Guelph that reveals results in 60 minutes is now available on the open market.

Designed by Guelph-based Precision Biomonitoring and manufactured by Philadelphia-based Biomeme, the SARS-CoV-2 Real-Time RT-PCR Test has been approved by Health Canada is available for distribution across the country.

“This approval is the result of the dedication and commitment of our teams at Precision Biomonitoring and Biomeme, as well as ongoing collaboration with our validation partners,” said Mario Thomas, CEO of Precision Biomonitoring in a press release. 

“This rapid test can now be distributed everywhere across Canada, especially in remote areas and workplaces where creating virus-free zones is vital. We can now bring the lab to the sample,” said Thomas. 

A free mobile app pairs wirelessly with the device to easily run, monitor and analyze the results of each test. Tests can be run online or offline. Results can be interpreted in real-time and all data can be securely synced to the cloud.

Battery operated and weighing 1.2 kg, the mobile test was created to be used in point-of-need locations where every second counts. It can deliver results for up to nine samples in an hour. 

Approval for the app was based on lab validation data generated through stringent testing of viral samples. The test requires no special lab equipment or cold chain and is intended for the detection of RNA from SARS-CoV-2 in throat samples. 

Precision Biomonitoring also partnered with Guelph-based environmental consulting firm, Shared Value Solutions, to bring the approved rapid mobile testing platform to Indigenous communities in northern Ontario in response to COVID-19.

There are three types of pre-mixed tests available, one optimized for the field, one for high use in the lab and one for lab use in a thermocycler. 

“Having a reliable rapid test is critical for controlling the spread of COVID-19, especially in certain communities or rural settings where testing may take longer. It will allow these communities to get results faster and will enable healthcare professionals to take the necessary steps to expedite their response to COVID-19 cases,” said Dr. Rob Kozak, a clinical microbiologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in a press release.