Braveheart Investment Group plc on Friday published an update on the progress that its investee company Paraytec Limited is making in developing a Covid-19 test in conjunction with the University of Sheffield.
“Delivery of the 500 clinical samples from Sheffield Hospitals Trust were delayed due to unprecedented pressure on hospital services responding to COVID-19,” said Braveheart.
“However, Paraytec has reported to Braveheart that the pipeline of clinical samples is now fully operational and additional staff have been recruited to process samples for performance assessment.
“The Paraytec and University of Sheffield team will use these samples to set the test operational parameters so that it attains or exceeds the recommended guidelines for upper limits on false positive and negative tests set by the Medical Health Regulatory Authority.
“Results from this phase of clinical testing are now expected by the end of February.
“To minimise the effects of this delay, Paraytec has brought forward scheduled work, using isolated lab-grown virus to optimise the operational sensitivity (sometimes called ‘lower limit of detection’) of our instrument for the detection of pre-symptomatic and early-stage symptomatic levels of virus.
“Paraytec’s target is to detect less than 1000 virions per millilitre of sample, which would represent a market leading performance, if achieved.
“By re-arranging the workflows Paraytec does not believe that there will be any overall delay to the development programme.
“It is already clear that current vaccines are not 100% effective and the infection risk is being compounded by the emergence of new strains of the COVID-19 virus.
“Braveheart has been advised that the Paraytec and University of Sheffield team believes there is, and will continue to be, a significant and ongoing demand for rapid tests for the early detection of the virus, to protect communities and the world’s economy.”
Prof Carl Smythe, who leads the University of Sheffield team, said: “We are very pleased with the rapid performance of our sample capture device.
“Together with the analytical sensitivity and speed of the optical system, we are on track to deliver a robust test that will support the level of infection control required globally.”
Braveheart CEO Trevor Brown said: “Though slightly delayed, the clinical sample pipeline is now fully operational and the development program remains intact.
“The agility and dedication of the team has resulted in workflows being re-arranged so that the unanticipated impact of the third lock-down has been eliminated within the original project timeframe.”