Early august 2020, Oxford Nanopore Technologies announced an agreement with the UK Government to roll out LamPORE, a new low-cost Covid-19 test. The detection assay is designed for on-site and rapid testing (results are available in less than two hours) and is expected to be crucial in UK’s continued efforts to fight COVID-19. Oxford Nanopore Technologies is set to deliver an initial 450,000 LamPORE tests to NHS testing laboratories across the UK. Read Oxford Nanopore’s press release on LamPORE here. Moreover, scientists in more than 40 countries have adopted nanopore sequencing technology for SARS-CoV-2 sequencing in patient samples since the start of the pandemic. VIB is a proud research partner of Oxford Nanopore, delivering the nanopore technology that empowers the DNA-reading tools.
In addition to diagnostics, several VIB research teams are working on therapeutics to treat COVID-19 patients. Building on previous antiviral research, a team of scientists in the VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology got a head start early 2020 in developing an antibody-based drug to tackle the virus causing COVID-19. VIB created a new company, ExeVir Bio, together with Belgian biopharma company UCB and Belgian investors Fund+, SFPI-FPIM and V-Bio Ventures, which will bring the antibody to the clinic in November. Read all about ExeVir Bio in our press release.
picture: Nanopore sequencing ©Yu-Chun Wang, VIB