Geneva: A local start-up launches a Covid test at home

A Geneva company has developed a blood test to detect the coronavirus. The sample can be taken at home.

The test, which is carried out by pricking the fingertip, costs 69 francs and is reimbursed by prescription.

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A little prick on your fingertip, four drops of blood, and you’re done. CoreMedica Europe SA, a young company founded by two former executives from biological and pharmaceutical companies and integrated since September into SwissMedical Group, has developed a blood test for the detection of Coronavirus, with a sample that can be taken, in particular, by anyone at home. The first of its kind, says the Campus Biotech-based company, which received authorization from Swissmedic on December 18, after four months of validation.

“It is a test for the detection of antigens, but not a rapid test, which is less sensitive,” explains Dr Jean-Marc Leroux, CEO of the company. It has excellent sensitivity and specificity in symptomatic patients, but without the unpleasant side of nasopharyngeal swabbing. ”

Postage-paid envelope

The blood test can be ordered on the company website mybiopassport.com. A kit with instructions and a pre-franked return envelope is then sent by priority mail from La Poste. Once the sample is received by the laboratory, the results are returned the same day on its site. Jean-Marc Leroux says he does not fear possible delays in delivery: “We have no problem with time related to the stability of the sample, because we send blood drops from which the serum is already separated and dried on a special die and not in a tube as is usual. ”

The results are declared to the Federal Office of Public Health (OFSP), “it is a legal obligation”, specifies the director of the laboratory Olivier Bruttin, FAMH specialist. The test can also be used to cross borders, “but it depends on the country, some ask for the moment exclusively for the PCR test”, warns Jean-Marc Leroux. For the launch, several thousand tests are available.

At the World level

CoreMedica Europe does not intend to limit itself to the Swiss market, but wants to position itself on a global level with its nutritional profile and sports performance tests, their flagship products: “Because of the Covid, there has been an acceleration of digital and empowerment of the patient, says Jean-Marc Leroux. This makes it possible to reach the whole of Europe and opens up a volume of business that was impossible to reach before. The outlook looks amazing. Until now, the health system was centralized. Now we are experiencing the opposite phenomenon: we are bringing the laboratory to the patients. ”

The new test developed by CoreMedica Europe is the second Covid test launched by the company. In September, she had already developed a blood test that establishes the immune profile of a patient: “This allows you to say whether or not you have been infected with the virus in the past and to advise you so that you are in the best possible way. conditions in the future in order to avoid known deficiencies affecting the immune system, reports Pierre-Édouard Sottas, chief scientific officer of the company. The new test can tell if you are now infected and contagious. ”

Another Covid self-test has recently been offered on the market. It is a saliva test, developed by a company based in St. Gallen, Home Sampling. For its part, the FOPH recalls that in order to test the population more extensively, “all types of rapid tests validated and authorized on the market can now be carried out in pharmacies, medical offices or test centers. Laboratories with authorization from Swissmedic carry out independent validation of rapid tests. ”

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