Medical laboratory company BATM has entered into a partnership with Israeli life sciences firm Novamed for the rapid joint development of a home-use Covid-19 diagnostics kit.

The kit is designed to allow people to test a sputum sample at home and should deliver results within a few minutes. The manufacturers anticipate that the development of the kit will take three to four months.

Following the receipt of CE certification, the parties expect the kits to be available for sale in Israel before exporting globally.

BATM CEO Dr Zvi Marom said: “We chose to partner with Novamed thanks to their many years of experience in developing excellent at-home diagnostic products. We believe that the combination of the capabilities of BATM and Novamed will result in a uniquely effective solution to address the current pandemic as well as other outbreaks in the future.”

BATM has also started shipping a new Covid-19 diagnostic kit developed by Adaltis. This kit is designed for use in medical facilities rather than at home, with the Italian market as the current focus. The manufacturers are preparing to ramp up production within the next few weeks to meet existing orders and anticipated future demand.

Clinical testing has demonstrated strong performance from the kit, which can identify if a person has Covid-19 or other coronavirus variants in under one hour using real-time polymerase chain reaction testing.

Marom said: “This is another step forward in our strategy to provide effective solutions for tackling infectious diseases. The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated the huge challenges that are posed by such diseases and the importance of having a comprehensive response covering rapid diagnosis and treatment.”

Cases of coronavirus continue to surge around the world, with over 252,000 cases reported and 10,000 deaths linked to the disease. Despite having around half the amount of cases, deaths in Italy have now overtaken those reported in China, where the outbreak began.