BFORCURE invests all its efforts to deliver a test to detect coronavirus in 30 minutes
Bforcure has developed a machine powered by FASTGENE™ technology which is able to detect the presence of pathogens, including the novel coronavirus, within minutes. The World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to diagnose the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Fig. 1)1,2. RT-PCR tests typically produce results within hours or days, so rapid point-of-care testing has the potential to significantly speed up the time to diagnosis and treatment, greatly slowing the spread of infectious diseases. Using a modified version of the CDC recommended test and the FASTGENE™ technology (Fig. 2), scientists at Bforcure were able to detect as few as 25 copies of the coronavirus nucleocapsid positive control plasmid (nCoV_N) in less than 10-minutes (Fig. 3). With the necessary sample pre-treatment procedures within 20 minutes, the whole process can be controlled within 30 minutes.
Figure 2. The FastGeneTM Core powering BforCure’s Rapid RT-qPCR machines.
This test is currently at the research use only (RUO) stage of development, as regulatory approval for diagnostic tests is a long and costly process. The lack of preparedness of the world’s most developed companies for a potential pandemic, highlights the need for easily accessible, rapid testing. The current coronavirus crisis has highlighted the inefficiencies in current practices, but have led to some great initiatives by private companies and innovations, such as the drive-thru testing in South Korea3. For the current, Covid-19, we can continue to expect a slow testing process where samples are sent to reference laboratories and results are supplied in a matter of days.
The vision of Bforcure is that for future outbreaks, including the possible seasonal reoccurrence of SARS-CoV-2, people will be able to be tested and have results within minutes at multiple sites, such as airports, hospitals, outside of office buildings, etc.
As the Japan 2020 Olympics have been postponed to 2021, Bforcure’s home country of France wants to be ready for Paris 2024. Bforcure has received “labelisation” status from the CSF Industries de Sécurité for the 2024 games. The ability of Bforcure’s machine to detect coronavirus genetic material in less than 10 minutes is just an example of the potential of this machine to detect any genetic sequence. Bforcure has partnerships to develop tests for bioterrorism, neonatal diagnostics, and a number of human and animal infectious diseases. For information contact: email@example.com
Figure 3. Detection of 25 copies of nCoV_N with 45 cycles of qPCR in less than 10 minutes.