KELOWNA, British Columbia, June 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Metabolic Insights Inc. (Metabolic Insights) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $300,000 grant by the Industrial Research Assistance Program of the National Research Council through their competitive Innovative Solutions Canada Challenge Program. The funds will be used to re-purpose the Company’s existing proprietary salivary insulin technology to detect the SARS-2-CoV (COVID-19) virus in saliva. One of the objectives of the challenge is to demonstrate a new prototype point-of-care COVID-19 test in three months.
The grant will enable Metabolic Insights to expand the markets for its proprietary technology platform, which analyses peptides in human body fluids, into infectious diseases from health, wellness and nutrition.
Testing for the presence of the COVID-19 virus is performed in a centralized laboratory setting using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) molecular assays to detect the viral genetic material. Patients are required to undergo an unpleasant nasal swabbing procedure. This process is time-consuming and can only be completed by qualified personnel in a laboratory setting. Results are generally not communicated to the patient for 24 hours or more. Due to its complexity, it’s difficult to provide PCR based testing services to areas where healthcare is not easily accessible. Patients in rural areas must wait for their sample to reach a centralized healthcare facility for testing.
A saliva-based test would be advantageous, being non-invasive, quick, allowing the transfer of testing from a hospital to an outpatient environment. This would make it an ideal tool for screening by physicians, pharmacies, a point-of-care home diagnosis, and distribution to rural populations. A point-of-care device is suitable for testing passengers before flying, regular testing of athletes, and admission into sporting or cultural venues. As government’s achieve an acceptable level of containment of the virus and we begin to return to a more normal lifestyle, frequent testing of a wider population would allow return to daily activities in a safer manner.
“We built our technology platform to allow for the testing of a variety of proteins through a simple saliva test. This grant will accelerate the demonstration of the ability to test initially for COVID-19 and for a variety of infectious diseases. We hope to dramatically shift how testing and monitoring for this and other clinically impactful proteins can occur in the future. Our goal is to be able to detect the COVID-19 virus though a small saliva sample in under 10 minutes,” said David Turner, CEO.
About the Company:
Metabolic Insights Inc is a Canadian company that has developed a platform electrochemical technology for the analysis of saliva and other body fluids for the presence of a variety of peptides.
The National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program is Canada’s leading innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized businesses. The mission of NRC-IRAP is to accelerate businesses by providing them with a comprehensive suite of innovation services and funding.