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You would think so, but you have seen the response via Walbrook. I do not understand some of the technical distinctions made in their response but took it as a general positive that they are looking at the possibilities, hopefully a bit more urgently than the Walbrook response might suggest.
I put it to them on the basis that the Novacyt ‘test’ could apparently run on Genedrive, but, as you see, they say it needs to be ‘validated’ which would take time and money. This is the bit that I don’t really understand as my scientific knowledge doesn’t really stretch that far.!
I guess Genedrive are looking to MRC for funding to put a test onto the Genedrive platform because of fund availability but why not give the Genedrive to Novacyt and they could do the leg work. Genedrive just isn't flexible enough in my opinion and seem to prefer R&D to commercialisation.
So, this is what I have had back from Walbrook:- “As far as the Genedrive team are concerned they understand that Novacyt don’t have a ‘test’ but that they have CE marked a PCR primer set, which is different from an instrument based diagnostic test. There are also other primer sets available in the market. Validating primer sets in a closed platform like Genedrive would take time and money, and whilst they’ve applied to the MRC COVID-19 rapid response funding call there is no update on this and no certainty that this could be a viable way forward for them at this stage. It is certainly something they are looking at though. ‘
Not sure I fully understand all of this, but at least it’s on their radar.
I have now received a reply from Walbrook which says that Genedrive are focussed on the commercial roll out of the HCV kit, the military pathogen detection range and developing the TB and AIHL tests, and have no plans to fund expansion into other testing areas. That has to be the right strategy in principle pending decent revenues from those projects but, if a partnership with the Novact test is feasible that would obviously not require much cash and could, in theory, generate significant sales of hardware for minimal outlay. I have, therefore asked Walbrook to pass the suggestion on to see what Genedrive make of it.
It’s a RT-PCR test and it looks to be designed to work on any PCR system so would run on a Genedrive. I’m not sure the NHS has sufficient lab capablabilty for large numbers of molecular tests. It’s not what they do. NCYTand Genedrive combined would allow testing pretty much anywhere...
Agree in large part. The relevance comes if as they suspect that the virus is spread before the onset of symptoms. In that scenario you need a very sensitive test and a molecular test would be the only sensitive option. The test currently used in screening is not sensitive and only good to confirm symptomatic patients. Where validators tests have been performed (ie in recovered patients who have tested positive again), the PCR based tests are used in the lab. It all depends where this goes next. If it does become pandemic then better screening tools will be needed in my opinion. Genedrive would allow outreach deployment out of the laboratory. But I just don't believe the company is on the case otherwise they would have already positioned Genedrive as a response device. It could be, DOD would be using it in this manner for biodefence. Genedrive just need to be a bit more savvy about the potential and not fixed in the old-school clinical modality - Genedrive is so much more
I used to have a contact at Genedrive on the science side who was great at replying to queries, but she seems to have moved on and, since Walbrook were appointed, enquiries seem to be referred to them and they haven’t responded this time, so far at least. It could be that they are working on something and can’t respond but, more likely just bad communications, which is a bit rich for a PR company.
To be honest, I am not convinced that the Genedrive kit is particularly relevant to this virus anyway as (as I understand it) it is basically a flu type virus that usually just runs its course and the body deals with it. Hence the approach of the Health Authorities appears to be basically isolation until the risk of passing on the disease has passed and hospitalisation for the treatment of life threatening complications. NCYT seems to have come up with a test so that may be that.
According to what I was told a while back, in the context of HCV, whilst there are other tests out there, these are just screening tests and, before treatment is prescribed (which I believe is expensive) a positive screening test needs to be confirmed by a molecular test, which is where Genedrive comes in, because it’s kit is portable/relatively inexpensive point of care kit, whereas a molecular test for HCV would normally have to be carried out in a lab on much more bulky/expensive kit. Whilst I don’t know the specifics of the NCVT test for Coronavirus (and I note they have lots of different tests) I am not sure that such a molecular test is necessary in the case of Coronavirus. None of this is definitive or advice, so anyone reading it should obviously do there own research.
It would, but rude not to reply to shareholders who are underpinning and supporting the share price. If they are not doing anything (not suggesting they are) then they could have replied and said the business activities are detailed in the annual reports and RNSs and the Company continues with those activities. The communications from the business is awful and the CEO has not done any interviews for a while. He takes a large salary and is given a decent options package but isn't delivering shareholder value in my opinion. But I believe the business has a lot of potential and this recent requirement for rapid point of care testing with COVID-19 just goes to prove that. If they can do HCV then they can do COVID-19. Wake up Genedrive if you are reading the bulletin boards, partner with someone making the test and work it out. If you can't partner someone who can
I wrote to the company a while ago asking if they planned any initiatives regarding the Coronavirus but haven’t had a reply which, I suppose is unsurprising because, if they were, it would surely be price sensitive.