D’Andrea & Evers joined the combined efforts of 5 more companies, to develop a reliable rapid virus test under the name of VIRAPOC.
The VIRAPOC team is developing a lab-on-a-chip based test platform to rapidly diagnose a virus infection (< 30 minutes). A vital part of such a virus test is the amplification (multiplication) of collected DNA. In the current Covid test lanes this is done using the PCR method. In this method, the reaction proceeds by passing through different temperature stages. However, heating and cooling the material to exact temperatures is time-consuming and labor-intensive.
The test the VIRAPOC team is working on uses the so-called LAMP method (loop-mediated isothermal amplification). The advantage of this method is that it can be performed at a constant temperature and is just as reliable as the traditional PCR method. This makes LAMP much faster and more suitable for use outside of a laboratory environment. Only small, simple equipment is needed for this test, making it cheaper and easier to scale up than the PCR tests. In virus outbreaks, such as the current Corona pandemic, it is possible to perform a large number of assays in a short period of time with this simpler test, which could make a significant difference in the fight against the spread of the virus.