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Digital & Innovation

Sanofi collaborates to develop breakthrough COVID-19 smartphone-based self-testing solution

Health Industry Hub | April 20, 2020 |

Digital & Innovation: Sanofi and Luminostics signed an agreement to evaluate a collaboration on a unique self-testing solution for COVID-19, using Luminostics’ innovative technology, and further adding to Sanofi’s ongoing efforts to fight the COVID19 pandemic on multiple fronts.

Luminostics would contribute its proprietary technology for consumer-diagnostics for COVID-19 testing while Sanofi would bring its clinical research testing experience and capabilities. The goal is to provide a smartphone-based solution that eliminates the current need for healthcare professional administration or laboratory tests.

“This partnering project could lead to another important milestone in Sanofi’s fight against COVID-19. The development of a self-testing solution with Luminostics could help provide clarity to an individual – in minutes – on whether or not they are infected” says Alan Main, Executive Vice President, Head of Sanofi Consumer Healthcare.

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The goal of this collaboration is to provide a consumer-based test that can detect the COVID-19 virus with high sensitivity and specificity from respiratory samples. The total time from specimen collection to results is expected in the range of 30 minutes or less.

It is based on Luminostics’ unique technology that utilises a consumer smartphone’s optics, controlled by an iOS/Android app paired with an inexpensive adapter, in combination with “glow-in-the-dark” nanochemistry and signal processing artificial intelligence (AI).

During the current COVID-19 crisis it became obvious that rapid, reliable mass testing is one of the key strategies for successful containment of a pandemic outbreak. While point-of-care tests were made available relatively quickly – although not in a sufficient quantity – no over-the-counter (OTC) self-testing solution is currently available.

A rapid self-testing solution would come with multiple advantages, including:

  • easy access and availability to patients at thousands of points-of-sale including ecommerce;
  • no further interpersonal contact necessary to conduct the testing, thereby lowering the infection risk for patient, HCP, and laboratory staff; and
  • immediate availability of results allowing fast decision making, providing consumers both public health and out-of-pocket cost benefits.

As one of the leading companies in the fight against COVID-19, Sanofi is already engaged in multiple clinical trials evaluating current treatment options (Kevzara and Plaquenil) in patients suffering from COVID-19 as well as two vaccine programs.

Based on Luminostics’ existing technology and protypes, both companies envisage to start development activities in the coming weeks. If development activities can be successfully conducted, the aim is to have an OTC self-testing solution ready before the end of 2020.

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