The German biotech company VICARE Solution from Essen has succeeded in developing an extremely simple, mobile and inexpensive test kit for a bimolecular detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Thanks to the close cooperation with German, Danish and Austrian pharmaceutical companies, up to 50 million test kits can currently be produced per month. An expansion of production to the expected Europe-wide need of over 200 million test kits is in the planning.
Under the leadership of the German scientist Dr. Oliver Emmert, the RT-LAMP process has been optimized for mass use. Its sensitivity and specificity have been optimized for detection of the Covid virus, with test results of 98%. So that this procedure is in no way inferior to the so called “gold standard” PCR laboratory test.
The advantages of the VICARE RAPID® test – in comparison to the PCR tests – are primarily its speed, mobility and price.
“Compared to the costs for a PCR test of € 60-120, we currently bill less than € 10 per test, which is well below the prices for the PCR laboratory test. At the same time, we can ensure that evidence is carried out on site within around 30 minutes. And the users of our test do not need expensive laboratory technology. With the RT-LAMP method, the sample is briefly heated to 93 degrees and then incubated at round about 60 degrees. A process that only takes about 30 minutes once the testing process starts. The results can then be clearly recognized by laypeople via a color change in the sample. ” Oliver Emmert.
The potential for this inexpensive, safe and fast procedure is obvious for Arnd Jakubeit, the head of marketing and sales at VICARE SOLUTION GmbH: “Let’s take the current test strategy for schools in North Rhine-Westphalia as an example. Around 35,000 students are to be tested every day. Or around 180,000 students a week. With a price of 50 € for the PCR test, we are at costs of over 900,000 € per week or almost 3 million per month “without taking into account the time delay of 24 hours or the massive logistics effort for 400 tours per day. Because these people and material also have to be paid for. With VICARE RAPID, on the other hand, we would be able to deliver the same accuracy of test results, but only around 20% of the costs.”
VICARE SOULOTION GmbH
45138 Essen, Germany