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COVITRACE (Diagnostic Test for the Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Virus in Saliva)

Sorrento Therapeutics has entered into a licensing agreement with Columbia University for the rights to a rapid, one-step diagnostic test that detects SARS-CoV-2 virus in as little as 30 minutes from a sample of saliva. 

Unlike other commercially available diagnostic products, the COVITRACE test:

  • Gives simple positive or negative color change results in 30 minutes or less
  • Requires no special laboratory equipment and is practical for on-site deployment
  • Uses saliva, eliminating the need for nasal swabbing
  • Demonstrated sensitivity and specificity of 97% and 100%, respectively, in a preliminary study

The COVITRACE approach eliminates the extraction step and simplifies overall sample processing. 

A small sample of saliva is collected in a cup and then placed into a tube containing enzymes and reagents that can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s RNA. The tube is then placed into a simple heat block or water bath to keep the sample warm throughout the chemical reaction, which takes 30 minutes or less to provide a colorimetric reading based on detection of the presence of the virus.