COVID-19 has been the first real international disaster the world has seen in over one hundred years.
Yet, even as science and technology stepped up to meet the needs of testing and vaccines at an incredible pace, the race to overcome a pandemic that threatened on a global scale takes time. While initial processes relied on traditional methods for testing for the SARS-CoV-2, it has become very apparent that new technologies and research were required to address a virus that quickly spreads and mutates. In addition, populations needed new methods to test and get faster results for potential COVID-19 infections, and that could act as a long-term umbrella for the increasing number of variants.
The goal of defeating COVID-19 was being matched with the call for a return to economic norms.
Experts knew that the ever-fluctuating status of infection and spread of SARS-CoV-2 would continue without the use of scientific innovations that brought high levels of efficiency and ease of use. It became painfully evident that alternatives to the current standards were needed for the benefit of humanity.
Under the guidance and expertise of Dr. Ranjani Kanth Vangala, NeuomeDx Pte Ltd. introduced an approach that superseded previous viral testing and instead focused on the peptide-based antigen detection within the virus. The addition of the technology that allows for color-coded results within just a few minutes brings an entirely new solution that can be implemented in any environment as, and as self-testing. Dr. Vangala’s long scientific career allowed him to found NeuomeDx Pte Ltd. focusing on developing novel technologies for diagnostics, biotherapeutics, biobanking, identifying biomarkers, clinical validation, and genomic technologies. This was the perfect out-of-box thinking that was needed to fuse the requirements of the fast-spreading virus with the demands of both the general populace and the medical community.
NeuomeDx Technologies has launched four products that use a novel structure-based peptide design algorithm to block protein-protein interactions. The peptides mimic ACE-2 receptors and block its interaction with the SARS-nCoV-2 spike protein with high-level precision results for saliva, breath, and air quality. Each of the NeuomeDx products meets the ultimate objective in ease of use, fast/reliable detection, and affordability for the masses:
- TruCoV-Saliva: a peptide-based lateral flow assay system that can detect SARS-nCoV2 within 3-5 minutes enabling on-the-spot diagnosis.
- COVI-Breath 15: A breath-based SARS-nCoV-2 virus detection which can detect pathogen within 15 seconds and is useful for all public places, offices, schools, transport systems and others
- NEMO: In Air detection of SARS-nCoV2: Air quality monitoring for closed spaces using
NEMO: A necessary tool during and post COVID-19 pandemic to identify the enclosed spaces with infections and decontaminate them immediately.
- COVI-PEP A peptide-based prophylactic and therapeutic molecule for SARS-nCoV2: NeuomeDx developed 3D models of interaction between ACE-2 receptor and spike protein of SARS-nCoV2 virus. Using this 3D model, NeuomeDx generated a library of peptides that could potentially bind to spike protein and neutralize the virus.
“Our technologies will enable sustained way of lowering the COVID-19 infections and intelligent way
to open the world economies”
– Dr. Ranjani Kanth Vangala
- Challenges of Current COVID-19 Tests
- Addressing an Innovative Alternative for Fast, Efficient Test Results
- Breath, Saliva, and Air Quality NeuomeDx Test Products
- Meeting the Broad-Spectrum of Needs
- Portable, Cost-Effective, Higher Accuracy COVID-19 Testing
Initial testing methods for COVID-19 were cumbersome and required that they be performed by those trained in getting viable samples. The necessity of sending to laboratories had significant results delays, allowing for potential infection during the wait time. In addition, testing could only be done in specific environments, which created a condition that didn’t let some of the population get the needed testing.
Even as testing became more available, they still relied on two main viral testing types: NAATs (Nucleic acid amplification tests) and antigen tests for existing infection and the antibody test to detect past infections. The NAAT test makes copies of the virus’s genetic that may be present in a specimen. Amplifying the nucleic acids lets the NAAT detect small amounts of SARS-CoV-2 RNA within the specimen. Antigen tests (also known as PCR tests) look for the virus’s genetic material by seeking out the molecules on the virus’s surface. Nasal swabs and blood samples are both difficult and invasive, causing some to decide against testing. This test requires specialized equipment that is costly and took from hours to days for the results.
While there have been improvements in the diagnostics of each of these testing types, including some that offer more expedient results, they don’t address all of the constant changes of the newest virus variants with required levels of efficiency. Additionally, from a social perspective, none of these testing types could be readily available in the various environments needed beyond the medical community and still had results that were not always accurate.
Each of the NeuomeDx products can be used at work, schools, hospitals, clinics, hospitality, travel centers, and even at home. In as little as 3-10 minutes, the NeuomeDx products can:
- Offer precision as good as RT-PCR
- Detect asymptomatic, low viral load samples as well.
- Specificity: 100% and Sensitivity > 91.7%
- Detect from any sample, including saliva and swab samples
- Easy to use – at home, self-administered
- The result is a visual color change
- Affordable and can be deployed in masses
The key to success with COVID-19 testing is in creating flexible devices that can meet the different needs for detection and protection. The answers exist in offering patients the ability to have user friendly technologies that access breath or saliva tests. These methods are less invasive, and patients are more receptive to the collection process. The technologies are doubly verified by the NeuomeDx partners at Neuomics LLC USA.
TruCoV-Saliva: On-the-spot 5-minute diagnostics kit for SARS-nCoV2: The NeuomeDx developed peptide-based lateral flow assay system can detect SARS-nCoV2 within 3-5 minutes enabling on-the spot diagnosis and can be used for home testing.
COVI-Breath 15: It is well established that SARS-CoV-2 spreads through aerosols released by infected person’s breath. Our technology detects the viral particles in the breath within 15 seconds using an electronic sensor. This instrument can be used at schools, colleges, offices, conferences, shopping malls, transport systems and all other public areas enabling intelligent opening of economic activities.
NEMO: As we try to open up our economies, there is a risk of COVID-19 contamination in almost every area. NeuomeDx developed Nemo to meet the need for technologies to identify both asymptomatic and symptomatic infections in the air quickly. Nemo uses a combination of nanotechnology and bioelectronics for fast COVID-19 air detection. The nanosensors developed at NeuomeDx can promptly change color when the virus is present and alert maintenance staff to take remedial action rapidly before the virus has a chance to spread. Nemo Technology offers a revolutionary method to help to keep our environments and people safe. The plug-and-play instrument can be stuck to the wall at a 4–5-foot height for viral particle capture and detects within 500 square feet. Detection is dependent upon the viral load in the air that is released by people that are infected.
COVI-PEP: NeuomeDx has developed 3D interaction models between the SARS-CoV-2 ACE-2 receptors and spike proteins. A library of peptides was generated using the 3-D model that could potentially bind to the spike protein. Based on several energy-driven models, a filter was applied to the 1800 peptide library to 6 peptides and then finalized to two peptides. Of these two, one peptide, P4, offered exemplary results and has been used for further experiments. The results thus far have shown:
- Peptide 4 can block the interaction between S1 protein and ACE-2 on HEK293 cells.
- Competitive inhibition of ACE-2 receptor and Spike S1 proteins by Peptide-4
- Peptide-4 has higher potency to inhibit ACE-2 receptor – Spike S1 protein interaction than a monoclonal antibody.
4. Meeting the Broad-Spectrum of Needs
Given that there are no international standards established for COVID-19 prevention, each country and often each territory, state or community is in flux regarding requirements for protection and prevention of the virus. As economies make attempts to re-open there is a vast potential for infection of those who have not been vaccinated and with the spread of new and potentially stronger variants. A broad-spectrum approach is needed to meet the needs in ceasing the expansion of COVID-19. People must be able to go to work, travel must be done safely, and children should be in school.
Without the appropriate detection and prevention devices, each of these environments can potentially be a continuation of the spread of COVID-19. To avoid the concept of the virus and its variants being a continual part of life, science and technology need to supply easy-to-use, friendly, and fast devices for detection.
The use of NeuomeDx technologies will allow groups of people to return to an environment, travel, and gather with the knowledge that they can be easily tested, get fast results, or know that a location is being tested as safe from the virus.
5. Portable, Cost-Effective, Higher Accuracy COVID-19 Testing
When it comes to medical testing for COVID-19, today’s society requires that certain variables be addressed. Portability and user-friendly encourages people to adopt the testing, especially if the devices aren’t invasive. Since adoption is the priority to detect and protect, the NeuomeDx tools have been designed to have a familiar look and feel while containing highly sensitive equipment.
To ensure that the testing products are accepted and widely used, they must also be available at cost effective pricing while offering higher accuracy results. The Neuome products offer no crossreactivity that can have false positives, can detect at ct 30- 35, five-fold precision. Tested on Asymptomatics (Patient Attendants who were later confirmed positive), has 100% specificity, 91.7% sensitivity (192 TCID50/mL), and is priced very cost-effectively to encourage use.
If we, as a global community, are to overcome the devastating effects of COVID-19 and all of its variants, we need to work together in adopting the devices required for quick and easy testing and make the kinds of changes that will help all of humanity.
The scientific advances made in biology combined with the latest technological advances have given us an excellent opportunity to assist people in all countries worldwide. The NeuomeDx products offer a moment in time that our society can advance the health and well-being of all humankind while providing products that can give us methods to succeed for future viruses. NeuomeDx Pte Ltd. will be sharing scientific discoveries, clinical research, and technology devices as a critical approach in conquering the COVID-19 virus.