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A British start-up company has unveiled a new saliva swab Covid-19 test that it claims can return a result in 15 minutes.
Vatic's KnowNow test is a type of lateral flow test, but the company's chief executive Alex Sheppard said it 'works in a completely different way to every other antigen test that exists'.
Alex said the test - which is awaiting regulatory approval - uses swabs from inside the cheek and under the tongue, saving people the unpleasantness of having to stick anything far up their nose.
What's more, it detects the presence of the spike protein on the outside of the coronavirus cell, instead of the nucleocapsid protein within it - which makes it unique.
Speaking to Sky News, Alex said: "The chemistry behind the test essentially renders the test as an infectiousness test, because what we're detecting is only the infectious virus - we can't detect non-infectious viruses."
Vatic said the test had returned no false positives during trials, though this was on a very small sample size of 200 tests.
Vatic's KnowNow COVID-19 test is a type of lateral flow test, but "works in a completely different way to every other antigen test that exists" according to the company's chief executive Alex Sheppard. pic.twitter.com/LBpbUOSDIE- Sky News Tech (@SkyNewsTech) December 18, 2020
Clinical trials will begin next year and it will be manufactured in Bedford, once it has met a number of regulatory requirements.
Alex said: "Because the test is initially for professional use, that means that this can be released in that setting faster.
"This is a product that is invented, designed, and manufactured in the UK."
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