UAE’s G42, UK’s Oxford Nanopore to develop ‘population-scale’ coronavirus testing

Cars line up as people wait to enter a drive thru testing centre for the COVID-19 coronavirus in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on April 2, 2020. (File photo: AFP)

Group 42 (G42), a UAE-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, and UK-based Oxford Nanopore have announced they will develop a high scalable solution for coronavirus testing to be launched within weeks.

The new technology will enable “population-scale” testing for COVID-19, a statement from G42 read. Initially testing will be conducted at G42’s sequencing facility in Abu Dhabi, with a plan to scale up to hundreds of thousands of samples daily.

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“Precise and cost-efficient population-scale testing is key to a responsible easing of restrictions, to protect the health of populations and supporting the re-opening of global economic activity,” said Dr. Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore in the statement.

The solution uses the LamPORE assay, based on loop-mediated isothermal amplification technique from Oxford Nanopore, combined with G42’s sample processing and high-throughput automation.

“The collaboration with Oxford Nanopore, a global leader in advanced sequencing products, accelerates G42’s ongoing endeavor to develop impactful applications for public health. This breakthrough solution is a result of the tireless effort by our joint teams under the extraordinary pressure of COVID-19. The worst of the pandemic has brought out the best in us,” said Peng Xiao, CEO of G42.

The LamPORE assay works through examining saliva swaps in patients, and can also be used to analyze environmental samples for the presence of the coronavirus, such as in water or sewage treatment facilities, the statement read.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 09 June 2020 KSA 17:45 - GMT 14:45
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