UK startup DnaNudge has signed a key manufacturing partnership to deliver volume production of its Covid-19 test system with a US manufacturer.
DnaNudge’s reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) Covid-19 test system can produce a result in an hour using a test cartridge and is part of the UK government’s ‘moon shot’ for localised testing.
Benchmark provided design, manufacturing, and supply chain services for the NudgeBox test system which will be built at a plant in Almelo in the Netherlands
DnaNudge says global demand is increasing as a result of the contract with the UK government last month to roll out test systems later this month in NHS hospitals. The contract also includes 5.8m test kits but these will be manufactured in a separate deal.
“When the pandemic first hit, we realized that our DNA testing technology could be used to rapidly identify patients with Covid-19,” said Regius Professor Chris Toumazou, CEO and co-founder of DnaNudge and serial entrepreneur in the electroncs industry. “By combining our expertise in DNA testing with Benchmark’s world-class design and production capabilities, and its ability to deliver complex medical technology manufacturing at scale, we are able to meet the huge global demand for this technology.”
The DnaCartridge ‘lab-on-a-chip’ used in the test system has 72 tiny wells in its assay, known as a multiplex. This means the technology can detect the presence of human RNA, as well as viral RNA, to eliminate ‘false negatives.’ It can also assess the presence of several of the Covid-19 genes, including both the WHO and US CDC assays, to improve accuracy. The technology is also able to detect other viruses such as type A flu, type B flu, and RSV.
“As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, Benchmark is working closely with medical customers to help develop and manufacture key devices used to support patients when it matters most,” said Jeff Benck, president and CEO of Benchmark. “We’re proud of our partnership with DnaNudge to bring its innovative rapid testing system to volume production at speed and help meet the demand for COVID-19 testing across the world.”
Benchmark is involved in the production of other key medical devices, including ventilators, portable x-ray units, chest scanning devices, and nitric oxide treatment systems. It also produces a Fluke handheld tester and a neonatal monitoring system at the plant in Almelo which also houses the European design and innvoation centre with 100 engineers.
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