Academia Sinica closer to coronavirus rapid screening reagent
Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s national research academy, says it has synthesized monoclonal antibodies that are able to identify the protein of the virus that causes Covid-19.
According to Academia Sinica, the potential reagent, if successfully mass produced, will shorten the rapid screening test for the coronavirus from about four hours to 15 to 20 minutes - which will significantly improve screening efficiency.
Yang An-sui, a research fellow at the Genomics Research Center who heads the team that achieved the synthesis, says the key for rapid screening to work lies in the relevant reagent being able to identify the new coronavirus accurately.
Yang says the team produced 46 monoclonal antibodies in 19 days and one of those antibodies demonstrated “perfect” efficiency in identifying Covid-19 because it does not react to other members of the coronavirus family, such as SARS or MERS.
Academia Sinica President James Liao says the data will be placed on the Covid-19 platform, which has been built to share information with domestic academic and science research institutes, to speed up the development of rapid screening kits, drugs and vaccines.