ProMIS Neurosciences Inc. (PMN:TSX; ARFXF:OTCQB) announced in a news release that it and collaborator BC Neuroimmunology Lab Inc. (BCNI) just developed a highly accurate antibody test for SARS CoV-2 and are now advancing it into the next phase.
According to recent validation testing, the current version of the ProMIS-BCNI assay achieves 99.9% sensitivity and 99.5% specificity for SARS CoV-2, the coronavirus causing COVID-19. The antibody test can detect immune exposure to the virus.
In the next development phase, the two companies will determine whether the antibody test also allows for the determination of whether or not the detected antibodies can neutralize the virus, thereby affording protection against COVID-19.
As such, "the next phase of 'best in class' assay development will involve testing to determine whether the antibodies that bind to one or more of PROMIS' peptide antigens, as determined by surface plasmon resonance (SPR), are neutralizing antibodies," the release noted. SPR is a nanotechnology platform that affords advantages that are comparable to those of the current standard, which is ELISA, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
ProMIS highlighted that such a SARS CoV-2 serology test, with dual functions, would be in great demand once COVID-19 vaccines hit the marketplace, as it should provide data about vaccines' durability and the variability of response to them.
"Starting next year, and throughout 2021 and beyond, we anticipate that billions of people will receive COVID-19 vaccines," stated ProMIS Executive Chairman Eugene Williams. "This is an unprecedented effort that showcases the capability and commitment of our industry. But it also means that billions of individuals will be vaccinated with very little information about the durability and variability of response to these new vaccines. We expect that vaccine companies worldwide and top research hospitals and government agencies will be looking for high volume, accurate, next generation serology tests with the ability to deliver more nuanced data regarding neutralizing antibodies. That is the rapidly emerging unmet need we are looking to serve as we progress development of our potentially 'best in class' SPR-based serology assay."
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