TTP consultant, Douglas Bradshaw, was interviewed on Sky News, Ian King Live and discussed CoTest™, TTP's new COVID-19 screening technology that can be used by anyone, anywhere, to screen up to 40 people at once for Covid-19 with results available in 30 minutes.
"If I may, just a little bit of context, so I guess everyone is very aware of the good news about success of Phase 3 of the vaccines but the reality is that we’re going to be living with testing through 2021 and perhaps even testing may become part of the new normal, so whilst the test and trace activity lead by the government has increased the capacity of the country for testing there's going to be the need for rapid testing in schools, in sports venues, and perhaps in airports. And it’s going to be important that these tests can be carried out by people who aren’t health care providers or trained.
So what TTP has developed in CoTest is a test that’s based on, it’s not based on a blood sample and it’s not based on a swab that one has to put far up one's nose or far into the back of one’s throat. And it’s simply based on one of these sponges for collecting saliva. So one pops in one’s mouth… a couple of seconds, capture salvia, and then I don’t know if you can see the screen behind me but you pop it in a cartridge for anything up to 40 people and then that cartridge when you’ve collected the sample goes into a device and the time from sample to answer is 30/35 mins.", Douglas said about CoTest and the way it works.
With regards to the general belief that pool testing can often lead to false negatives, he answered: "That is a challenge when you’re looking for a very small sample size of positives. So there are existing strategies for pool testing where rather than taking the whole sample one just takes a small part, maybe 5% or 10% of the sample has been collected, and that’s one of the reasons why the test becomes less accurate. What TTP has developed in CoTest is a way where we keep all of the viral material from that original sample, so we don’t lose any of the accuracy. We then combine that concentrated down into a sample of anything up to 40 people.
We’re maintaining all of the sample, we’re still using the gold standard of one of the various amplification technologies for the virus material so we can effectively remove those false positives."
And on the production and manufacturing process: "We’re at the prototype stage. TTP was part of the response to Covid and has been developing prototypes whether it is ventilators as part of the ventilator challenge or as part of testing technologies. We’ve demonstrated we can move very rapidly from prototype to product.
We are looking to manufacture products in the early part of 2021. We already have a collaboration with a number of partners and we’re in the early stages of commercial negotiations for partners to commercialise this. I would say in the latter part of 2021 these products can be in schools, at airports, at sporting venues, theatres and cinemas.
As with the ventilator challenge we’re looking for the best partners. So we explored a number of options there and in the end selected Dyson as our manufacturing partner. And so it is with Co-test. Both with manufacturing partners there are ongoing discussions and commercial partners those are ongoing also. Of course, we’d always welcome further conversations.".
To find out more about CoTest, please visit: https://www.ttp.com/cotest