Novacyt (LON:NCYT), the Anglo-French diagnostics firm, today announced it is to launch mobile processing laboratories to detect Covid-19.
The company is to expand its VersaLab service with the launch of mobile processing laboratories (MPLs) to provide rapid turnaround PCR testing on-site.
Versalab was initially launched in December last year to support private sector testing of Coivd-19, and further opportunities have now presented themselves across the private sector as economies look to reopen.
The MPLs will allow Novacyt to provide test results to patients in under 80 minutes, while using the improved standard and specificity of PCR technology. With PCR tests processed in a laboratory, the potential for errors (such as false positive or negative readings) is lower than other rapid testing such as antigen tests.
For example, the European Commission proposed in December that rapid antigen testing should be carried out by trained healthcare personnel and other trained operators, otherwise the accuracy of the tests diminishes.
According to Novacyt, each MPL would be able to process 900 samples per day, depending on needs, which could see them used for on-site testing at workplaces, schools and large-scale sporting or music events.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Novacyt has focused on innovation to ensure we adapt in line with a rapidly evolving market. The roll-out of our VersaLab MPL units is an exciting development for Novacyt, as we continue to bring PCR technology outside of the central laboratory and closer to patients,” Novacyt CEO Graham Mullis said in a statement.
“The need for localised community testing and monitoring of COVID-19 infections looks set to continue over the next 12 months and it is our view that much of this testing could be undertaken by the private sector. Novacyt is therefore well-placed to support this growth opportunity.”
Novacyt shares were trading higher following the news, rising 2.3% to 711.00p per share.