ArcanaBio, has announced that it has received a grant of ISK 15 million (approximately USD 110,000) from the Icelandic Government through its supportive program Heilsumót 2020, administered by Ríkiskaup.
This substantial investment will fund the development of a rapid COVID-19 saliva testing prototype, a project expected to support novel testing approaches and offer new ways for pandemic aid, and will support new rapid development of other respiratory viral infection test panels for the future.
The grant was given as part of the government's ongoing initiative to support innovative solutions in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. ArcanaBio's proposed rapid test, which uses saliva rather than nasal swabs, will offer a more comfortable and convenient testing experience for individuals.
"We're immensely grateful for the government's backing in this critical endeavour," said Kristján Már Gunnarsson, CEO of ArcanaBio. "We believe our rapid saliva test will not only make testing more accessible and less intrusive, but that it can also help speed up diagnosis with a much more economically. Ultimately the objective is to be able provide rapid solutions that can help suppress quickly any future pandemics and offers a new way to protect vulnerable population tactics, without using expensive and disrupting blanket quarantine methods that have been used previously."
ArcanaBio's test promises to yield results within 45 minutes, significantly reducing the waiting period compared to conventional PCR based testing methods. The saliva-based approach eliminates the need for healthcare professionals to perform the test, therefore reducing the risk of transmission and promises much lower costs for scaled up high throughput testing.
The Icelandic government's investment comes amid rising demand for rapid, non-invasive testing solutions worldwide.