Sanofi Embraces Smartphones For SARS-CoV-2 Tests

Luminostics joins forces with Sanofi to empower smartphone-based coronavirus self-testing
smart phone in  hand

Two innovative companies announced a collaboration to leverage mobile technologies to empower consumers.

Paris based Sanofi and Luminostics signed an agreement on April 16, 2020, to evaluate a unique self-testing solution for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19 disease.

According to these companies, the goal of this collaboration is to provide a consumer-based test that can detect the COVID-19 virus with high sensitivity and specificity from respiratory samples. 

The total time from specimen collection to results is about 30 minutes or less.

If development activities can be successfully conducted, the aim is to have an OTC self-testing solution before the end of 2020, subject to obtaining required regulatory clearances, said these companies.

"The development of a self-testing solution with Luminostics could help provide clarity to an individual - in minutes - on whether or not they are infected," says Alan Main, Executive Vice President, Head of Sanofi Consumer Healthcare, in a press release.

"Following this week's announcement of an unprecedented partnership with GSK in the hunt for a vaccine, our company's ambition is to continue to find other ways to help solve this pandemic situation."

The test is based on Luminostics' unique technology that utilizes a consumer smartphone's optics, controlled by an iOS/Android app paired with an inexpensive adapter, in combination with "glow-in-the-dark" nanochemistry and signal processing artificial intelligence.

A rapid self-testing solution would come with multiple advantages, including, but not limited to:

  • easy access and availability to patients at thousands of points-of-sale including e-commerce
  • no further interpersonal contact necessary to conduct the testing, thereby lowering the infection risk for patients, HCPs, and laboratory staff
  • immediate availability of results allowing fast decision making
  • providing consumers both public health and out-of-pocket cost benefits

Based on Luminostics' existing technology and prototypes, both companies envisage starting development activities in the coming weeks.

Luminostics is a California-based startup with a mission to increase healthcare accessibility and efficiency. 

As one of the leading companies in the international fight against COVID-19 disease pandemic, Sanofi is already engaged in multiple clinical trials evaluating current treatment options (Kevzara(R) and Plaquenil(R)) in patients suffering from COVID-19 disease, as well as 2 SARS-CoV-2 vaccine programs.

Announced in a press release on April 14, 2020, Sanofi said the ‘global access to COVID-19 vaccines is a priority and are committed to making any vaccine that is developed through the collaboration affordable to the public.’

This new collaboration marks a significant milestone in Sanofi’s ongoing contributions to help fight COVID-19.

Sanofi has entered into a Material Transfer Agreement with GSK to enable the companies to start working together immediately.

Sanofi said it will contribute its S-protein COVID-19 antigen, which is based on recombinant DNA technology. 

This technology has produced an exact genetic match to proteins found on the surface of the virus, and the DNA sequence encoding this antigen has been combined into the DNA of the baculovirus expression platform, the basis of Sanofi’s licensed recombinant influenza product in the US.

And, GSK will contribute its proven pandemic adjuvant technology to the collaboration.

Precision Vaccinations publishes breaking news focused on vaccines, mediations, and testing solutions.