UAE’s G42 to work with Israeli NanoScent to develop COVID-19 detector from scent

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Abu Dhabi-based G42 Healthcare company is set to work with Israeli company NanoScent to develop and manufacture a product they say will be capable of detecting suspected cases of COVID-19 from a sample of exhaled nasal air.

The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday in a signing ceremony held via video conference between the UAE and Israel.

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“The Scent Check device detects a combination of volatile organic compounds, or “VOC Signature”, from exhaled nasal air that is derived from the host response to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The air sample is seamlessly captured through an “Air trap”, a small bag fitted with a straw in which the tested subject needs to blow nasal air. A machine learning based model is then used to analyze, diagnose and label the VOC Signature and provide the result of the test in 30 to 60 seconds,” according to a statement from the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

“The non-invasiveness and the rapidity of results give Scent Check the potential to transform the diagnostics industry globally. The solution enables testing in both large and small settings, without the need for complex infrastructure and cost-efficiently,” the statement added.

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The new signing comes just days after Emirati company APEX National Investment announced the signing of a strategic commercial agreement with the Israeli company TeraGroup to develop research and studies on the novel coronavirus.

Last Thursday, the United Arab Emirates and Israel reached a historic peace deal that will lead to a full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations in an agreement that US President Donald Trump helped broker.

“At G42 Healthcare we are at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 and committed to developing impactful innovative programs and solutions to improve and safeguard public health. 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 organizations share their expertise and technologies for the benefit of society,” said Ashish Koshy, CEO of G42 Healthcare.

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