Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH) said its investee company Paraytec has the resources required to bring its coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kit to the market with the need for a fast and effective Covid screening technology undiminished by the discovery of a vaccine.
Braveheart welcomed the vaccine success of Pfizer and BioNTech, which it said was “hugely encouraging”.
But it added: “[The] directors believe that the rollout of a vaccine will not lessen the urgent need for a fast, specific and sensitive test for COVID-19 which is what Paraytec is focusing on bringing to market as soon as possible.
“The directors' expectation is that any vaccine that becomes available to protect against COVID-19 will be, initially at least, used for the protection of front line health workers and the very vulnerable. The directors, therefore, believe that the best way to protect the rest of the population will be to allow mass testing. This is what Paraytec's test is focused on achieving.”
In a wide-ranging update, Braveheart said Paraytec’s integrated technology, combining its biochemistry, hardware and software, was making “good progress”.
Researchers are working to optimise the speed and accuracy of the test - the features most important for commercial success. The work includes accelerating the capture of virus particles from a swab or saliva sample using a laser diode to make detection faster and more accurate and using a mobile phone camera to analyse the test.
“Paraytec is also investigating approaches for inactivation of virus particles prior to testing, so that sample handling will be safer and disposal will be made easier,” investors were told.
At the same time, the company said it was focused on meeting the requirements of the UK, EU and US. It is making sure the process is fast-tracked “wherever possible”.
Financially, Braveheart said the proceeds of a warrant's exercise and the £3.15mln from a recent sale of part of its holding in Remote Monitored Systems is expected to be sufficient to ensure the project is ready for commercial launch.
“In addition, other non-financial support has been applied for from governmental organisations that provide assistance for the accelerated development of diagnostic devices in selected companies,” Braveheart added.
Paraytec is also taking steps to protect its intellectual property, the group added.