The world’s fastest PCR based SARS-CoV-2 test for the point of care
- Rapid test is particularly suited to decentralized use in mobile test centers.
- Sensitivity: 98 percent, specificity: 100 percent.
- Simultaneous testing of five people with one cartridge by pooling will also be possible as of early October.
- Bosch is working to further reduce time to result.
Bosch has developed a new rapid test for its Vivalytic analysis device to detect the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen. The test provides a reliable result in 39 minutes and is currently the fastest PCR test worldwide. Bosch’s new rapid test is predestined for decentralized use in mobile test centers at freeway service stations or in airports. People who take the test can obtain a reliable result while at the testing site. Available now in Europe, the CE-approved test helps avoid time in quarantine, relieve laboratories, and make travel and work safer again. “One of the keys to fighting the coronavirus pandemic is to rapidly identify sources of infection. That’s why we focused on following up on our first coronavirus test with an even faster one,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the singleplex PCR test has a sensitivity of 98 percent and a specificity of 100 percent. To develop the test, the Bosch subsidiary Bosch Healthcare Solutions joined forces with the German biotechnology company R-Biopharm. “We have a very strong and sustainable partnership with Bosch. The Vivalytic platform enables us to significantly reduce time to result and to offer our highly sensitive PCR tests directly at the point of sample collection for the first time “, says Jochen Hirsch, CEO of R-Biopharm AG. PCR tests are considered the gold standard of test methods.
A world first: simultaneous testing of five samples
Bosch launched the first rapid test for its Vivalytic analysis device at the end of March, after just six weeks’ development. As a multiplex test, it simultaneously checks samples for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and nine other respiratory diseases in under two and a half hours. The new, accelerated test is exclusively for SARS-CoV-2. “With our different coronavirus tests and variable analysis strategies, we open up a range of testing scenarios with a Vivalytic device – from screening all the way to supporting differential diagnosis for similar symptoms,” says Marc Meier, president of Bosch Healthcare Solutions GmbH. And development work is still in full swing at Bosch: as of early October 2020, by pooling it will be possible to simultaneously evaluate five samples in one test cartridge and at a comparable speed – a world first. Bosch is thus increasing available testing capacity, enabling fully automated processing of more than 160 samples a day using a Vivalytic device. In addition, optimized software will in the next few weeks further reduce the time to result of the SARS-CoV-2 test on positive samples.
Vivalytic analysis device: easy to use at the test site
The advantages of Bosch’s rapid test lie not only in speedy analysis, but also in ease of use. A sample is taken from the nose or throat using a swab, and placed in the test cartridge. Then the cartridge, which contains all the reagents required for the test, is inserted into the Vivalytic device for automated analysis. The device is designed to be user-friendly; medical staff require only brief training on how to operate it.
By the end of 2020, Bosch wants to reach capacity for one million tests. As demand for the analysis device and the rapid tests remains high, the company is working closely with its suppliers to maximize capacity and further increase supply.