Coronavirus company news summary – US DOD awards contract to Pall to build new breathing filter manufacturing line – Thermo Fisher Scientific introduces real-time PCR solution to speed up Covid-19 testing

6 August 2020 (Last Updated August 6th, 2020 09:28)

EKF Diagnostics Holdings has secured an initial order worth £3m from a private sector partner for a supply of PrimeStore MTM, a patented sample collection device for use in Covid-19 testing programmes for UK employees. This contract is in addition to the $14.1m order received for the three-month period ending 30 September 2020 that was announced on 14 July.

A protective face mask using ultraviolet light to kill germs has been developed by engineers at Pavvana. This patent-pending AirShield mask makes use of a curtain of air washed through UV-C sterilizing light. Worn on the forehead, the Pavvana AirShield consists of UV-C light, air baffles, a rechargeable battery-powered fan and a head strap. It is designed to kill 99.99% of airborne viruses and bacteria as one breathes.

The US Department of Defence has awarded a $4.9m contract to Pall Corporation to build a new breathing filter manufacturing line to boost ventilator filter production. Once the new line becomes operational in the fall 2021, the ventilator filter production capacity will increase from 485,000 units per month to 650,000 units per month. This will allow Pall to help address the surging demand for ventilator filters driven by Covid-19.

Fujirebio Diagnostics has begun clinical testing required for the submission of its new SARS-CoV-2 Antigen assay for emergency use authorisation from the US FDA. The Lumipulse SARS-CoV-2 Antigen assay will be available for use on the LUMIPULSE G1200 instrument. The automated instrument has a throughput of 120 tests per hour, enabling laboratory personnel to load samples as required. CLEIA technology and automated testing are claimed to offer increased sensitivity, reproducibility and throughput compared to single-use point-of-care tests.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched a highly automated, real-time PCR solution that can analyse up to 6,000 samples in one day to meet growing demand for Covid-19 testing. The Amplitude Solution leverages the firm’s Applied Biosystems QuantStudio 7 Flex Real-time PCR instruments as well as liquid handling products from Tecan Group. It provides test results in a four-step process and is claimed to require minimal hands-on time, laboratory space and staffing resources.