Boohoo to make virus home test kit

A 10-minute home saliva test for coronavirus is under development in a deal struck between the billionaire co-founder of online fashion brand BooHoo and a Cambridge-based firm. A recent study published by the not-for-profit research group medRxiv, which is backed by Yale University, found that saliva was more sensitive for detection of the virus in Covid-19 patients than nasal swabs. In the US, a saliva-based test developed by Rutgers University’s RUCDR Infinite Biologics firm received emergency approval from the US regulator at the end of April, but the samples have to be sent off to a lab for processing. Further work by Avacta found that the Affimer reagents it uses block the interaction between the coronavirus’s spike protein and a receptor on human cells to which the virus binds, and may have the potential to prevent infection. Kamani and Hughes said: “Given this test will be saliva-based, it could be used in airports, offices, factories and in the home environment, providing a result within minutes and with no requirement for medical supervision.” _______________________________________________