CDP completes pilot manufacture of Point of Care diagnostic readers for rapid COVID-19 testing

A team at UK product and innovation company Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP) has produced highly deployable devices for COVID-19 testing. CDP has been collaborating with diagnostics tech firm QuantuMDx to refine their Q-POC™ device and produce the first batch of readers to detect COVID-19 within approximately 30 minutes. QuantuMDx is now investing over £11 million to scale up production and introduce this rapid diagnostic solution to benefit patients and frontline health workers across the globe.

QuantuMDx is developing molecular diagnostic devices for a range of diseases and has developed and launched a highly accurate lab-based SARS-CoV-2 assay. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the firm had commissioned CDP to produce prototype devices for CE marking. CDP worked through the first UK lockdown to improve the design of the reader and the first units are deployed at UK hospitals for COVID-19 testing studies.

“After beginning our partnership with QuantuMDx during 2019, we were delighted to be asked to collaborate with this innovative company once again, at a critical time. The team has been highly motivated by this crucial project and proud to contribute to the national effort,” says Dan Haworth, CDP’s Head of Diagnostics.

Colin Toombs, VP Research & Development at QuantuMDx, said: “We’ve worked in partnership with CDP since April last year, to undertake accelerated pilot manufacture of our Q-POC™ device, which is a portable DNA/RNA analyser offering rapid, sample-to-answer, molecular diagnostic testing at the point of care. The QuantuMDx and CDP teams have worked in close partnership to optimise our product development and manufacture devices to deliver testing for COVID-19. They are being released initially for research use, but we are rapidly moving towards CE-IVD of Q-POC™ for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Working together with CDP, we’ve established an ongoing partnership for the future.”

The device works by processing a swab sample, amplifying the target sequence specific to SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, and then detecting whether the virus is present. This all happens within a sealed cartridge that is controlled by the reader with minimal user involvement.

“Within approximately 30 minutes from sample collection, the device will give an accurate answer to whether the patient has COVID-19” says Dan.

These first new readers have been designed and built at CDP’s HQ in Cambridgeshire, where the company has short-run manufacture capability alongside its R&D facilities.  

CDP’s team working to develop the QuantuMDx device includes mechanical and electronics engineers, software engineers, regulatory experts and manufacturing engineers.

“We worked at speed to design, build and test these important devices as quickly as possible. We are all thrilled to play our part in beating COVID-19 and we congratulate QuantuMDx on moving to mass manufacture,” added Dan.

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