On Tuesday, Russia became the first country to approve a potential COVID-19 vaccine, albeit before completing thorough testing.
In the meantime, health care and medical device companies are racing to develop and distribute effective tests to help individuals verify their health.
Vancouver-based accelerator Victory Square Technologies VSQTF hopes to standardize the process by making its coronavirus antibody test offering affordable and available all around the globe.
Victory Square's Coronavirus Test: Earlier this summer, Victory Square Technologies acquired Brazilian medical test manufacturer Safetest, integrating the assets and intellectual property into the portfolio company Victory Square Health.
The move was made in preparation to mass produce and distribute a rapid COVID-19 antibody test for end users in the last four months of 2020.
The tool takes a drop of the user’s blood and can deliver results within 5 to 15 minutes. A more expensive lab test is simultaneously under development.
Benzinga spoke with Victory Square Technologies Chief Operating Officer Vahid Shababi and Victory Square Health CEO Felipe Peixoto to discuss the venture’s plans to enter the market and its research and development ambitions.
BZ: What's unique about Victory Square’s COVID-19 test?
Shababi: Our test checks if there are antibodies in a person’s body. Also, other COVID-19 tests were tested on healthy people’s blood samples before and after adding the virus to validate those products.
Our team validated our test with COVID-positive patients. We received samples from them to make sure that the accuracy of our test is high.
An advantage we have regarding our go-to-market strategy is the fact that the cost per test will be pretty low depending on the area — between $10-$20.
That, combined with the accuracy [and] turnover time for people to see results, makes this test special.
plans to enter the market and its research and development ambitions.
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Peixoto: We also have market validation. We have been selected as the main partner of the São Paulo state government to apply our tests in local hospitals. We have applied for FDA and [Brazilian] Anvisa approval and hope to receive responses within one or two weeks. We are also going to submit the Health Canada and European Union applications in the next week.
BZ: What do your rollout strategy and timeline look like, and who will you partner with to distribute the tests?
Shababi: About a month ago, this test was featured by Forbes, and since then we have received many requests from distributors around the world showing interest in our product.
In the first phase, we are going to work with distributors that already have purchase orders and connections with pharmacies to get our test out right away, probably in the next 30 days.
In parallel to that, we are awaiting approval to sell directly to pharmacies and drugstores in the countries we applied to. In the meantime, we are going to sell directly to consumers through an e-commerce website.
BZ: Do you have long-term plans to monitor new viruses or strains that may arise in the future?
Peixoto: Our goal is to always be prepared to launch products into the market to combat viruses that appear to be dangerous. What we need in order to develop any new tests is to understand each disease and have some samples to experiment on.
We first go to the lab and study bioinformatics. Then, we test on real samples and eventually real people. Our role is to constantly be in contact with health organizations and hospitals to be a step ahead of each disease.
We were very happy with the time we took to develop this COVID-19 test, and we will be looking to develop new rapid tests for use cases such as identifying cancer or Alzheimer’s. We know we can help the world get better at detecting difficult-to-spot diseases.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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