Malaysian company develops Covid-19 rapid test kits that can deliver results under 20 minutes

Swab samples to test for Covid-19 are pictured at Dewan Desa Temuan in Kota Damansara January 29, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Swab samples to test for Covid-19 are pictured at Dewan Desa Temuan in Kota Damansara January 29, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — A homegrown diagnostic solution start-up has developed a digital rapid Covid-19 test kit — dubbed APTSENS — that can upload test results in real-time with geo-location data to cloud servers via a mobile app.

Biogenes Technologies, a startup in the field of molecular diagnostics and genomics, said that APTSENS is a simple-to-use kit consisting of Covid-19 single-use sensor chip, portable electronic reader and collection swab that can produce test results in under 20 minutes.

“Although it has been extremely challenging for Biogenes to develop this test kit due to the lack of ecosystem in our domestic diagnostic sector, we have been very fortunate to receive support from Malaysian government agencies such as Platcom Ventures, CRADLE and NTIS.

“We have also managed to pull in some overseas investment from global venture capital, Antler South East Asia that is based in Singapore.

“It is because of the responsive and experienced teams in these agencies who understand the challenges that we face as a deep tech start-up, Biogenes is able to get their full support to reach this major milestone,” Biogenes Chief Executive Officer Tang Kok Mun said in a statement today.

Biogenes said that with further support from the government and private sectors, they hope to complete the clinical trials and obtain regulatory approval to launch Malaysia’s first Covid-19 home-based test kit by mid-2021.

“The time has come for Malaysia to secure our domestic capability and capacity to produce test kits and diagnostic products for the current pandemic as well as future diseases,” they said.

Besides being able to test for Covid-19, they are also leveraging the same technology platform to develop and release other tests on communicable and non-communicable diseases such as Covid-19 neutralising antibodies, sepsis infection, diabetes and cancer biomarkers.

The company said this will be done under an integrated digital diagnostics hub in the coming months.

“Plans are also underway this year for Biogenes to raise Series A capital to further fund its transition from a deep tech start-up to a full-scale diagnostic solution provider with technology development, manufacturing and marketing capability,” they said.

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