Malaysia's COVID-19 test kit launched

Malaysia's COVID-19 test kit launched

Malaysia's homegrown COVID-19 test kit - ImmuSAFE - which is able to detect and quantify an individual's antibody protective level of the disease was launched here today.

Developed jointly by the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) and Sengenics Sdn Bhd, ImmuSAFE is the world’s first lab-based, multi-antigen and multi-domain COVID-19 serology test (examination of blood serum), which enables high-throughput screening of COVID-19 samples for diagnosis of current or prior infection.

MARii chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Madani Sahari at the launch here today said the test kit had a 100 per cent sensitivity and specificity validated by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR), an agency under the Health Ministry (MOH).

Based on tests conducted on 5,000 samples during the development of ImmuSAFE, the test results could be obtained within a few hours, he said.

“ImmuSAFE test is not going to replace Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests but I would say this is a supplementary test that can give a complete image whether a person has been infected.

“If ImmuSAFE test and RT-PCR are combined together, it would be the perfect solution to understand the status whether you are being infected or not with COVID-19,” he told reporters after the launch.

Madani said they were still waiting for approval from the Medical Device Authority (MDA) under the MOH before it can be made available in the market.

He also disclosed that an application called ImmuSAFE Tracker that has intelligent contact tracing capabilities based on MARii readily available big data analytics and artificial intelligence platforms is being developed.

"This application will be able to track the mobility and contact tracing information of individuals, as well as employee logs, supply chain information, standard operating procedure (SOP) enforcement of businesses – all the forementioned in real-time," he said.

The application also can be integrated with more advanced tracing technology such as facial recognition and geographic information systems (GIS) mapping, he said.

“The big data analytics technology would enable predictive modelling and simulations of outbreak patterns from new infection clusters,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sengenics Sdn Bhd CEO Dr Arif Anwar revealed that they spent about five months to develop ImmuSAFE test kits.

“We are proud to be a part of this partnership with MARii and IMR and appreciate the support and technical expertise of both parties throughout the development and validation of the ImmuSAFE COVID-19 test kit,” he said.

Sengenics is a Functional Proteomics company that leverages its patented KREX technology to discover autoantibody biomarker signatures for prediction of drug response and severe immune-related adverse events. - Bernama



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