BATM Advanced Communications starts delivery of two new COVID-19 tests, with Italian Olympic Committ

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BATM Advanced Communications Limited (LON:BVC) said it has commenced the delivery of two new diagnostic tests for COVID-19.

The provider of real-time technologies for networking solutions and medical laboratory systems announced that the Italian Olympic Committee intends to use its saliva-based RT-PCR test for the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan.

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The group has commenced supplying its test that uses self-collected saliva samples to diagnose COVID-19 using the RT-PCR technique.

This follows the Italian Olympic Committee selecting two labs to provide testing for the tournament, one of which uses only the antigen RT-PCR kits for COVID-19 testing, including the latest saliva-based test.

The initial customers are also public health authorities in Italy for use in schools and elderly care homes, where there is a particular benefit for having a non-invasive sample collection method without compromising diagnostic accuracy, the firm said.

The provision of the tests is due to be expanded to several other groups as production increases.

The test involves the individual spitting into a collector tube rather than deep swabbing via the nose or back of the throat, which can be done without the need for trained healthcare workers in full-body personal protective equipment, offering advantages in terms of speed of sample collection as well as lab processing and being more cost effective than the RT-PCR process for standard swab-based tests.

The kits are produced at the Adaltis facility in Rome, Italy, which continues to increase manufacturing output.

BATM also announced the commercial launch of its rapid test, which gives results in 8-15 minutes. It detects SARS-CoV-2 antigens, using the lateral flow method, in samples collected with a nasal swab.

The assay consists of a small self-contained device and a nasal swab: after collecting a nasal secretion sample, the swab is placed into an opening in the device, swirled and then the cap clicked to a different direction.

This compares with commonly available rapid tests that require the individual to prepare the test by pouring a buffer liquid into an extraction tube and, after swirling the swabbed sample in the extraction tube, dropping liquid onto a test strip.

The test, developed by the group’s Adaltis subsidiary and Gamidor Diagnostics, has undergone validation testing by hospitals in Israel and Europe where it has demonstrated sensitivity of over 95%, the company said.

Production has commenced at Gamidor’s facility in Israel with initial deliveries being to public health authorities. Negotiations are also underway to establish another production line for this test in Europe.

“We continue to receive strong demand for our COVID-19 tests – and, in particular, we are honoured that the Italian Olympic Committee will be using our saliva tests to support Italy’s Olympic journey,” said chief executive Dr Zvi Marom in a release.

“At the same time, we expect this technology enabling precise diagnoses using saliva samples to be applied to diseases beyond COVID-19. It would be particularly beneficial for tests used to quickly differentiate between illnesses to provide an accurate diagnosis, such as our multi-pathogen respiratory test. We are also continuing to work with our academic and business partners to develop other innovative diagnostic solutions that we believe are at the forefront of the battle against infectious disease.”

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