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Sanofi and Luminostics have signed an agreement to co-develop a smartphone-based self-testing solution that can detect the Covid-19 virus with high sensitivity and specificity from respiratory samples.

The companies are negotiating a collaboration to develop the solution that will eliminate the existing need for laboratory tests or healthcare professional administration.

It will use Sanofi’s clinical research testing experience and capabilities along with Luminostics’ technology for consumer diagnostics for Covid-19 self-testing.

The technology uses consumer smartphone’s optics, controlled by an iOS / Android app paired with an inexpensive adapter, together with ‘glow-in-the-dark’ nanochemistry and signal processing artificial intelligence (AI).

Sanofi executive vice-president and consumer healthcare head Alan Main said: “This partnering project could lead to another important milestone in Sanofi’s fight against Covid-19. The development of a self-testing solution with Luminostics could help provide clarity to an individual in minutes on whether or not they are infected.”

The diagnostic platform features an iOS / Android app that will instruct a user on how to run the test, as well as capture and process data to display test results. Based on the results, it will also connect users with a telehealth service.

The platform will also include a reusable adapter that is compatible with most types of smartphones and consumables for specimen collection, preparation and processing.

Sanofi said that rapid, reliable mass testing is an important strategy for the effective containment of a pandemic outbreak.

Both companies aim to start the development activities for the platform in the coming weeks, based on Luminostics’ existing technology and protypes.

They also expect to implement a final collaboration agreement, including a plan to accelerate the necessary manufacturing capabilities.

Separately, Sanofi is conducting multiple clinical trials, analysing its Kevzara and Plaquenil drugs for the treatment of patients, suffering from Covid-19.