Bioanalysis Zone

Assay for safe and easy testing of novel coronavirus in development


Molecular diagnostics company, Mobidiag (Espoo, Finland) has announced that it has initiated the development of a novel diagnostic assay, using the Novodiag® platform. The diagnostic assay will be designed to perform the rapid and simultaneous detection of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and influenza viruses.

The Director-General of the WHO declared the outbreak of 2019-nCoV, which originated in Wuhan, China, a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, following the second meeting of the emergency committee. Recently, on 10 February, the UK government declared the outbreak a “serious and imminent threat” to the public.

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The diagnostic assay is being developed in partnership with Autobio Diagnostics (Zhengzou, China) and Automobi Molecular Diagnostics (Zhengzou, China), the joint venture launched by Mobidiag and Autobio, formally registered in May 2019.

The new test will be designed to allow the rapid and simultaneous detection of 2019-nCoV and influenza viruses, operating with a ‘sample in, result out’ system. The fully automated system could protect laboratory staff and healthcare providers from possible contamination. Additionally, a user-friendly interface could allow the system to be delivered to high risk and hard to reach areas and used by individuals without specialized training.

The new diagnostic assay will utilize a platform that combines real-time PCR and microarray technologies. These technologies can allow single and high-plex diagnostic applications and, in the future, could enable further applications in the field of oncology, infectious diseases and sepsis.

Tuomas Tenkanen, CEO of Mobidiag, explained: “It is vital that molecular diagnostics solutions be utilized to fight back against novel coronavirus which has emerged as a significant threat to health across the world. Our new Novodiag® assay will uniquely offer rapid and fully automated molecular profiling to simultaneously detect novel coronavirus and common influenza strains and guide clinicians more quickly towards moving patients to efficient isolation measures and make better-informed treatment decisions, in situations where time is critical.”

Fu Guangyu, Director of Autobio and General Manager of Automobi Molecular Diagnostics, added: “To control the spread of 2019-nCoV as soon as possible, a rapid, safe, and accurate etiological diagnosis technique is of paramount need. We are delighted that Mobidiag will use its expertise and know-how to develop an assay that can be used on the Novodiag® platform at this critical time. Autobio and Automobi will work closely with Mobidiag by sharing relevant technology, experience, resources and information in order to ensure we make a meaningful impact in the fight against the spread of 2019-nCoV.”



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