NEW YORK – Mologic announced Friday that it has been awarded about £1 million ($1.3 million) by UK-based Wellcome Trust and Department for International Development (DFID) to develop a point-of-need diagnostic test with global partners to detect the virus causing COVID-19 and to initiate research for novel vaccine candidates.
The award is part of the UK government’s £46-million international COVID-19 prevention and research funding package. Of that total, up to £5 million, through the Joint Initiative on Research for Epidemic Preparedness in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust, will be directed at developing quicker diagnosis methods, the UK government said separately in a statement.
Mologic and its partners are developing the point-of-need diagnostic test with the objective of allowing health officials to test for the virus at home or in the community, providing results in 10 minutes without the need for electricity or a laboratory, Mologic said.
Further, the company is working with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar to validate and manufacture the test at a new manufacturing site in DiaTropix, Senegal ─ the first time that a diagnostic kit created in the UK will be jointly manufactured in Africa, according to Mologic.
Mologic's validation partners for the project include Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and St. George's, University of London in Europe; the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the University of Malaya in Asia; and Fiocruz in Latin America.
Bedfordshire, UK-based Mologic, a developer of lateral flow diagnostic tests, said it will build on its experience developing a rapid test kit for Ebola, also jointly funded by DFID and the Wellcome Trust.
Mologic announced recently that it has launched an accelerated program with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar to develop a low-cost, high-performance rapid diagnostic test for Ebola virus disease.