Preventive saliva test for detecting the COVID-19 virus is now available to companies and organizations

February 23, 2021 News Turnstone Communications

Ghent, Belgium, 23 February 2021 – The Ghent company Biogazelle and the medical laboratory Labo Nuytinck (Ghent, Evergem), together with several Flemish companies, have developed a PCR platform with which thousands of saliva samples can be tested daily for the COVID-19 virus. The saliva test costs a third of a classic test.

Saliva tests also have the advantage that no medical personnel are required for sampling, and the test is more pleasant than the classic nasal swab. The threshold-lowering self-test combined with online sample registration and reporting brings systematic and iterative preventive test scenarios within reach for many organizations.

Pilot study with 300 participants under the supervision of UZ Gent

The Biogazelle PCR platform was analytically validated, and its operational performance evaluated, in a pilot study supervised by Prof. Steven Callens of UZ Gent. Various companies, primary schools and residential care centers took part in the pilot study. More than 300 participants submitted a saliva sample twice a week that was collected by Inter Healthcare Transport (a company specialized in medical transport within the healthcare sector) and transported to Biogazelle for analysis. Results were reported the same day to each participant via a secure self-service web portal, developed in collaboration with the Antwerp data tech company Esoptra. The study showed that participants were very willing to take a saliva sample twice a week.

Large-scale testing is practically feasible

An operational blueprint was successfully developed and the practical feasibility of detecting asymptomatic potential diffusers on a large scale was demonstrated. The conclusions of this pilot study form a solid basis for preventive screening of residential care centers or contact professions. The platform can also be used in a number of other high-risk sectors, or for employees in high-risk situations where working from home isn’t an option, as an additional wall of defense against COVID-19, complementary to the existing test strategies.

More information can be found at https://speeksel.biogazelle.com/ or via covid19@biogazelle.com

Following this successful pilot study, Biogazelle, together with Labo Nuytinck, will open the platform for companies and organizations to set up their own SARS-CoV-2 PCR saliva tests for weekly preventive screening.

Disclaimer: “These tests are only suitable for repeated screening and cannot be used for other indications. A nasopharyngeal sampling remains indicated there. ”

About Biogazelle

Biogazelle is a Ghent biotech company for clinical contract research, specialized in the development and execution of molecular biological tests to support the development of drugs and medical diagnostics. Based on this expertise, Biogazelle was part of the consortium of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that were the first federal test platform to be responsible in 2020 for the development and roll-out of large-scale PCR test capacity for detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Belgium. More information: www.biogazelle.com

About Labo Nuytinck

Labo Nuytinck belongs to Anacura, an independent laboratory group of 250 employees, consisting of Anabiotec, active in drug development, and Labo Nuytinck, active in laboratory medicine. Labo Nuytinck has a branch in Evergem and one in Bruges.

It is Labo Nuytinck’s vision that an individual’s health is served by strength and insight, supported by a trusting professional bubble. We dream of an ecosystem in healthcare in which various partners – general practitioners, other healthcare providers and laboratory – guarantee high-quality and affordable care in a connected way.

Based on this value-driven model, Labo Nuytinck is always looking for innovative concepts based on excellent science and with a view to an improved experience and comfort for the patient. More information: www.anacura.com


Turnstone Communications
Turnstone Communications

We are a specialized consultancy agency providing communications, marketing and strategic support to companies and organizations in the life sciences industry. We share client articles on BioVox providing insight into new and established players in the Belgian ecosystem, from innovations and research breakthroughs through to finance and industry trends.

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