CARLSBAD, Calif., March 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- XPRIZE announces Reliable-LFC will receive a one-million-dollar award to assist in commercializing and distributing its affordable, high-performance, easy-to-use, rapid, point-of-need nasal coronavirus antigen test. Reliable-LFC is one of five winners from a pool of more than 700 submissions in 38 countries to receive this funding.
"A year into the pandemic there is still a profound need for more diagnostic testing. We meet criteria for a highly accurate, affordable and fast test that links to contact tracing. By getting people tested frequently and rapidly, we can extinguish this virus with all lines of defense," noted Bill Pagels, Ph.D., biochemist and cofounder of Reliable-LFC (lateral flow chromatography). Pagels' scientific career spans decades with DuPont Medical Products, Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific, and Abbott Laboratories.
The $6M XPRIZE Rapid Covid Testing six-month competition's aim was to increase Covid-19 testing capabilities 100-times past the country's current standard. Experts predict to safely reopen the country we need to perform up to 35 million1 tests a day. Nationwide testing now is currently ~1.7 million a day.
Rapid antigen tests, such as Reliable-LFC's, represent a segment with lesser options among the three test types available: RNA (PCR) (252 tests), antibody (75 tests), and antigen (15 tests). Antigen tests are simple to perform, more affordable and deliver results in minutes at the point-of-need. Because of these characteristics, individuals can be tested frequently, something experts say is critical for accurate diagnoses and curbing further spread of the virus.
Reliable-LFC's V-CHEK coronavirus diagnostic test showed a 97% specificity and an 87% sensitivity in independent studies. Its antigen test costs $20 or less and provides results in 10 minutes followed by real-time wireless connections for contact tracing. No lab is needed to process samples, and it requires no subjective reading which reduces chances for false negatives and false positives.
While signs of this pandemic decreasing are favorable, the nation can't let its guard down. More spikes are expected as variants are detected and school and university spring breaks start this month. These predictions make affordable, faster and reliable testing options more necessary.
When it obtains emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA, Reliable-LFC is expected to produce up to 4.5 million or more V-CHEK tests monthly for testing sites nationwide.
"This test will help safely jumpstart the economy, get students back into schools, and people back into workplaces. Low-cost tests that can be performed at high frequencies, like our rapid point-of-need antigen test, are needed to quickly identify, trace, and contain the virus," said Lei Fang, Ph.D., cofounder of Reliable-LFC. Fang spent 12 years developing and conducting comparison studies to commercialize diagnostic tests at ThermoFisher Scientific and others.
The Covid Apollo Fund sponsors of this competition include five venture capital firms including Bain Capital, and anchor partner, Anthem Foundation and Anthem Inc., along with six additional health plans.
About Reliable-LFC™ and the SARS-CoV-2 V-CHEK™ Antigen Test
The Carlsbad-Calif.-based diagnostics company, Reliable-LFC, founded in 2020 to help curtail the spread of the pandemic and turn venue-specific sampling centers into real-time testing centers, provides affordable point-of-need results in 10 minutes. Its high-performance, easy-to-use wireless diagnostic platform includes a cassette and reader that replaces the need to send swabs from sampling centers to a distant lab for processing, which can take up to 14 days. Results are securely relayed to tested individuals from Reliable's Bluetooth-enabled reader to paired smart devices (phones, tablets) then to remote public health servers to enable contact tracing. Visit www.ReliableLFC.com and learn more about the $6M XPRIZE Rapid Covid Testing award.
Contact: Kellee Johnson, [email protected], 303-884-3434
1. Dr. Paul Romer, Nobel Laureate in Economics as reported by Irfan, U. The Case for Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic with Mass Testing. Vox, epublished April 13,2020.