As the world slowly moves towards mass vaccinations and testing, one company, in particular, is pulling out all of the stops to get a complete end-to-end solution out into the world. Ultimately, if successful, this will mean relaxed travel restrictions, and more people will be willing to move around, reigniting world economies. This post will cover what Prenetics is as a company and how they have successfully implemented extensive testing via their Project Screen program.
Who Are Prenetics?
Prenetics is a Hong Kong-based start-up focusing on genetics to revolutionize how diseases and illnesses are diagnosed. Efficient and personalized treatments can be developed from these detailed diagnoses, resulting in a higher chance of successful recovery. In fact, Prenectics has performed so well that it is set to list in the US through a $1.7 billion SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) deal. Avi Lasarow is CEO of Prenetics EMEA and, along with the other company founders, has played an essential role in building a company capable of creating products that can be used to test entire populations for the COVID-19 virus. In addition to these achievements, he is also the Honorary Consul for South Africa in the UK, advising the British government about health policy. Their breakthrough in end-to-end testing will be invaluable as countries resume normal operations.
The company centers around a few distinct areas of expertise, with the main three being diagnostics, prevention, and individualized care. In these three areas, they emphasize several tools to provide care in the following areas:
- Cancer screening: By creating Circle Coloclear tests, Prenetics aims to detect colon cancer at an early stage. The significant benefit it has over traditional screening methods is that patients can test themselves at home.
- Rapid diagnostics: Prenetics is involved in creating products that can perform fast and effective diagnoses using their Circle HealthPod. This device uses a “rapid molecular detection system,” and their first use case is tackling COVID-19 with plans to advance to other infectious diseases.
- Genomics: With two ready-to-use solutions, CircleDNA and DNAfit, Prenetics has created personalized treatment plans by using Whole Exome Sequencing (WES). The applications for these tools are immeasurable, and once fully utilized, they can make personalized care a reality for everyone.
What Is End To End Testing
With a global shortage of critical reagents and supplies, massive clinical testing for COVID-19 is urgently necessary to develop streamlined laboratory testing protocols. An end-to-end solution can massively speed up tests while still providing accurate results. These tests include the usual PCR tests and the RT-LAMP testing procedure, each of which makes traveling more accessible, among other things, enabling the world to reopen safely.
PCR stands for “polymerase chain reaction.” It is a DNA amplification method that allows scientists to detect minute traces of DNA or RNA sequences in a sample. PCR testing is mainly used to detect infectious organisms’ presence, amount, and type in body fluids such as saliva, blood, urine, semen, or other secretions. PCR tests are routinely relied upon by doctors to make treatment decisions. The test can also be used to monitor a patient’s progress during treatment and evaluate the side effects of various therapies. It is currently one of the most capable forms of testing for COVID-19 that is available today.
LAMP, or loop-mediated isothermal amplification, can be used to detect viral RNA. Reverse-transcription LAMP, or RT-LAMP, is a more rapid method of analyzing genetic material than conventional PCR and has proved helpful in finding COVID-19 among the population that uses the test. One of the main advantages that RT-Lamp has over PCR testing is higher amplification efficiency allowing for less time wasted waiting for thermal change. In other words, a PC test can take around 3-4 hours to get a result, whereas an RT-LAMP test requires less than an hour. This increased efficiency has considerable ramifications in opening the world back up again. Nevertheless, both are viable options for detecting COVID-19 in humans.
What Is Prenetics’ Project Screen?
Project Screen revolves around creating and providing fast, efficient and safe tests to individuals and governments at an affordable price. The tests provided by Project Screen have been approved for use and recognized as viable options by both the British and Hong Kong governments. Prenetics has developed a massive capacity of some 40,000 tests per day by gaining approval from these countries, leveraging its reputation for quality.
Who Is Using Prenetics Testing Solutions?
Prenetics, via Project Screen, has been at the forefront of providing testing solutions to a range of governments and organizations, with three distinct case studies.
Testing On Behalf Of The Government Of Hong Kong
Prenetics has been integral in performing the bulk of testing for the citizens and residents of Hong Kong, which has allowed the government to begin tentative steps to reopen its economy. While these tests have predominantly been based around the PCR method, there is no question that they have succeeded in keeping infected individuals quarantined from the rest of the community.
Facilitating Travel Via Airport Testing
Prenetics tests have proven successful in six airports worldwide, especially on busy Hong Kong to Heathrow routes. They have enabled travelers to perform either a PCR or RT-LAMP test that provides rapid results. In turn, this has resulted in fewer delays, fewer frustrations, and a move towards normality. It is an enormous success story concerning the latter, in that the sooner the business can get back to normal, the better.
Bringing Back Some Fun!
There is no doubt that COVID-19 was depressing in many ways outside of the danger that the virus presents. There has been no shortage of bad news, from lockdowns and social isolation to missing out on sporting events. However, by applying their rapid testing kits to all 20 clubs in the English Premier League, Prenetics has been able to bring back a little fun to the lives of football fans worldwide. By providing testing kits to the players, staff, and ancillary employees, such as media representatives, they managed to enable the 2020 season to go ahead as planned.
When it comes to healthcare, genetics, and rapid diagnosis, Prenetics is at the forefront of innovation. Their focus on using precision tools has allowed them to develop an end-to-end COVID-19 testing solution capable of turning the tide on this pandemic.