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NPL’s M4R programme supports Stemnovate to develop rapid COVID-19 test

Measurement for Recovery (M4R) is continuing to deliver real impact across the UK.

Stemnovate is a Cambridge based company that has developed COVID-19 rapid testing technology that is accurate and faster than commercial alternatives.

In June, the company also introduced a new more accurate method that is for testing at airports, schools and offices. The Stemnovate test kit had to run for one hour to confidently identify a positive COVID test, and since then the company had been working on reducing the detection time. Through its Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme, NPL’s Biometrology and Electronic and Magnetic Materials groups worked together with Stemnovate to identify a solution to increase the sensitivity of the COVID detection, significantly reducing the detection time.

M4R programme was launched to support companies to innovate and address the many challenges they currently face as a result of COVID-19. M4R matches businesses with world-leading metrologists, techniques and technologies only available at NPL and partner laboratories.

The team at Stemnovate is now able to detect the results within 10 minutes. This rapid detection is a game-changing technology for COVID-19 testing, in particular for airport testing as it would allow passengers to be cleared as healthy before travel, potentially ending the need for quarantine rules The company is capable of establishing a quality standard, production and manufacturing to bring the test to market before Christmas. The company intends to manufacture the kits at Babraham Research Campus and is now seeking support to scale up the operation.

Fernando Castro, Head of Science for Materials, NPL states: “NPL conducted a feasibility study of Stemnovate’s COVID-19 quick detection kit under the Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme, which gives UK business access to world-leading measurement science. The work we conducted helped to increase the sensitivity of the detection method and reduced the detection time significantly. The Measurement for Recovery (M4R) programme was set up to help companies like Stemnovate and we hope that we can continue working together to further develop Stemnovate’s technology in detecting COVID-19.”  

Dr Ruchi, CEO, Stemnovate states: “COVID-19 is a challenge for businesses and life, and we have a solution that is accurate, fast and scalable. We worked on a scientific technology that is measurable to set measurement standards and quality assurance at a fast turnround time and designed for manufacturing at a scale and speed. NPL provides the best support for SMEs for overcoming challenges in measurement and building highest quality products. The scientific team is fantastic to work with, and we will be working together to create products that have an impact in the real world.”

Find out more about NPL’s Measurement for Recovery (M4R)

30 Nov 2020