ICHOR provides fast, reliable results in environments outside the laboratory, meaning a sample can be taken from anywhere – for example, an airport, a retirement home, a cruise terminal or business office – and provides an accurate result in less than three minutes.
The test procedure itself is quite simple. To test for an active COVID-19 infection, a swab is required. The sample is placed in a liquid that deactivates the virus.
A portion of this fluid is then taken with a test tube and analysed in the ICHOR analyser box. Within three minutes, the analyser provides a positive or negative result.
The ICHOR antibody test is even simpler. First, we take capillary blood from a fingertip using a pipette reservoir and insert the sample into the analyser. Here, too, a result is available within three minutes.
We tested the ICHOR method against SARS-CoV-2 RNA extracted from patient samples. This is exactly the same material that is used for classical molecular diagnostic methods such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction).
Can you give us proof that it works?
Initial scientific work and publications have clearly demonstrated that the ICHOR method works in full. The method has proven to be effective in providing rapid and reliable results in environments. We are currently conducting several clinical tests to substantiate our high sensitivity and specificity.
The prerequisite for a specific detection of the virus is the uniqueness of its RNA structure. If the corresponding beacon is provided as a probe based on the molecular RNA sequence, either the antibodies or the SARS-CoV-2 will be detected depending on the sequence. The difference is that different analytical pipettes are used for the different tests. The analysis device remains the same.
Initial results indicate that if the viral load in the sample is weak, the ICHOR method will be convincing in its reliability. Current publications on the common PCR method reveal that samples with a weak viral load are often reported as “false-negative”. It is precisely with this group that ICHORtec will score points. In addition, ICHOR’s methodology is an on-site solution and therefore allows for a more robust and broader application. Currently, ICHOR is a unique and portable solution that can provide rapid and reliable results for both active SARS-CoV-2 RNA and antibody detection.
Because ICHOR has proven its analytical capability without common laboratory technology, this analytical system will be effective at the point of care. The test can be performed anywhere by a trained person, so ICHOR can be used anywhere in the world – from airports to offices to retail shops.
As soon as the genetic code of the future influenza or virus is decoded, we will be able to offer a solution. In general, the system has been developed so that other viruses can also be identified quickly and reliably. But at the moment, our company’s task is to play an active role in containing the pandemic.
The composition of the molecular structure for the Beacon is based on a low-cost biochemical process. Furthermore, the process activity for the identification of antibodies and virus is significantly reduced. As a result, there are considerable cost advantages compared to common methods.
In addition to our own manufacturing, we are looking for strong licensing partners who can manufacture and deliver high volumes. We are looking forward to working with public health authorities to find out how we can best help stop the spread of COVID-19 infections.