$150,000 grant for Australian rapid Covid test


An Australian team developing a rapid Covid-19 test has received a $150,000 grant to bring the product from proof of concept to Good Manufacturing Practice Readiness within four months.

The tests use a saliva sample in an “iStrip” cartridge, which is placed in a handheld device. The product is based on work by UTS Professor Dayong Jin on “using nanophotonic probes for disease diagnostics,” said the university in a recent article on the technology

“This iStrip is sensitive enough to detect the presence of as little as a trillionth of a gram of SARS-CoV-2 viral protein.”

Tests would cost only $25 and produce a result in under 15 minutes. It uses Alcolizer’s existing Druglizer LE5 drug testing platform.

The project links UTS and Perth-based Alcolizer, and is supported by an Innovative Manufacturing CRC grant, the first through its IMCRC Activate program.

“We’re thrilled our first approved project has been so successful to date and has the potential to provide much needed health, social and economic benefits in the fight against COVID-19,” said IMCRC Managing Director David Chuter in a statement. 

“We hope this new funding initiative will shine a light on the need for broader investment in Australian manufacturing R&D.”

Lab tests are expected to begin within two months.

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