Abu Dhabi-based G42 Healthcare has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Israel’s NanoScent to develop, validate, manufacture and distribute a scent-reading solution to detect Covid-19.

Called Scent Check, the solution is designed to identify suspected coronavirus cases, using a sample of exhaled nasal air.

The Scent Check device can detect a combination of volatile organic compounds (VOC Signature) in exhaled nasal air obtained from the host response to Covid-19.

A small bag equipped with a straw, called air trap, is used to capture the air sample, where an individual is required to blow nasal air.

Later, a machine learning model is used to analyse, diagnose and label the VOC Signature. The solution provides the test result in 30 to 60 seconds.

The non-invasive and quick solution can be used for cost-efficient testing in large and small settings and does not require complex infrastructure.

G42 Healthcare CEO Ashish Koshy said: “Through this collaboration with NanoScent, we will be adding another powerful solution to our comprehensive diagnostics portfolio, which already includes PCR and LamPORE testing.

“This partnership also reaffirms the need to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic through a joint global effort, in which best-in-breed organisations share their expertise and technologies for the benefit of society.”

The partners are considering approaches to leverage respective expertise and technologies to accelerate the launch of Scent Check in a phase where Covid-19 transmission patterns can be tackled via mass-testing.

G42 Healthcare is currently engaged in various Covid-19-focused programmes, including a Phase III clinical trial of an inactivated vaccine candidate against the infection.

In the next few weeks, the company will test the new solution to validate its efficacy and boost its accuracy before market launch.