ProMIS Neurosciences Inc. (PMN:TSX; ARFXF:OTCQB) announced in a news release its progress to date and timeline on developing a "high-throughput, highly accurate test for detection of antibodies to SARS CoV-2," the virus that causes COVID-19.
The biopharmaceutical firm identified 18 possible SARS CoV-2antibody targets. The next step is for these conformational peptide antigens to be synthesized by a specialized laboratory, and this will take place over the coming weeks.
After that, testing and validation will be done by Dr. Hans Frykman, "a globally recognized neuro-immunologist and his team" at the University of British Columbia.
Dr. Frykman and his team "will evaluate serology test performance in a high throughput assay with each of the 18 peptide antigens in order to validate and select the best among them, aiming to achieve 100% sensitivity and 99.9% specificity for the virus causing COVID-19," the release noted.
This is significant because accuracy of prospective and existing tests remains a problem due to crossreactivity with other coronaviruses, including four viruses responsible for causing the common cold, the company stated.
"As antibody tests for COVID-19 flood the market, the accuracy of these tests has emerged as a seemingly insurmountable barrier to resuming our lives with confidence. Developing an accurate antibody test selective for a single virus amongst a larger family of similar viruses is very challenging using today's tools," President and CEO Dr. Elliot Goldstein said in the release.
"A highly accurate test for COVID-19 requires the ability to identify unique target protein structures, our main area of expertise by virtue of our work with the misfolded proteins that drive neurodegenerative diseases. We expect development of a highly accurate test and anticipate commercial availability shortly thereafter," Dr. Goldstein added.
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