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Astrotech is developing BreathTest-1000 to screen for volatile organic compound (VOC) metabolites that indicate infectious diseases, including coronavirus (Covid-19) or the resulting disease, pneumonia.

The company noted that its mass spectrometry technology is ideal for lung disease testing applications, which are being developed.

The technology was initially developed in collaboration with Nasa, the US Army and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

It was designed for air quality monitoring and trace detection of chemical warfare agents, explosives and narcotics.

Certified by the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), the technology is now deployed in air cargo facilities throughout the EU.

Earlier, positive results were reported in pre-clinical trials for the company’s BreathDetect-1000, a rapid bedside breathalyser that detects bacterial infections in the respiratory tract, including pneumonia.

Astrotech Corporation chairman and CEO Thomas Pickens III said: “With the coronavirus pandemic impacting millions of families around the globe, we are now very focused on the development of a rugged, inexpensive, quick and easy-to-use testing platform that can be deployed to thousands of point-of-care locations worldwide if approved. This is an incredibly scalable solution that is very much needed to screen as many people as possible in the shortest time.”

To enable a speedy screening test for symptoms, indicating Covid-19 or pneumonia, the company intends to combine the detection of the virus with the detection of pneumonia into the BreathTest-1000 instrument.

Meanwhile, Astrotech has announced the launch of a new subsidiary company called BreathTech Corporation. It will hold the exclusive license to use the 1st Detect Technology for breath analysis.