As part of a broad-based research project, Leipzig scientists have developed a high-quality corona antibody test that is also suitable for taking samples at home. The result was presented to Saxony's Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer and Science Minister Sebastian Gemkow at midday in the BioCity in Leipzig.
With the help of the new test, users can be sure whether they have already been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus or not. The antibody test can be used in schools, daycare centers, hospitals and care facilities to protect risk groups even better. This is done through the targeted deployment of staff who have been proven to have antibodies and who thus minimize the risk of infection. Science is also gaining valuable data in order to be able to better estimate how many people in which regions have been infected in the meantime.
The antibody test called "AProof" was developed in cooperation with the Biotechnological-Biomedical Center (BBZ) of the University of Leipzig under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ralf Hoffmann (Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry and Mineralogy) and Prof. Dr. Jörg Gabert from Adversis Pharma in the BioCity.
"This creates an important basis for further research," said Prof. Hoffmann. “In the first step, a reliable test method required a specific protein, which we identified within a very short time and were able to make available for use in the test. Through the close cooperation with the partners and the existing know-how in the BioCity Leipzig, we have succeeded in producing a highly efficient diagnostic agent that is very valuable in data analysis. I am grateful for the good, intensive and trusting cooperation.«
"The result is impressive," added Prof. Gabert. »The antibody test is very easy to use and delivers very reliable results in the evaluation. All it takes is a few drops of blood placed on a test strip. Once the blood has dried, the test strip can be sent to a lab. Each test set comes with an individual access code that you can use to register and access the result online. The anonymized data obtained in the laboratories are then available for further research.«
The overall research project is scheduled to run until 2022 and is being supported with 323.000 euros from funds from the Free State and the European Union.
Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer added:
»The development of this antibody test is a good example of how innovative strength unfolds in Bavaria. The fact that it was possible to get from the idea to the finished user test within just a few months makes it clear how goal-oriented all the researchers, companies, authorities and certification bodies involved worked here. Everyone can be very proud of that.«
Science Minister Sebastian Gemkow said:
»BioCity Leipzig is a well-established center for research and development in the field of diagnostics and pharmacology. This research project proves this once again. The key to success is the close networking between university and non-university research institutions and companies in one place. This results in products that not only directly benefit people in Saxony. Every euro invested here in research funding is well invested. The Free State will therefore continue to provide support to the best of its ability.«
The measure is co-financed by taxes based on the budget approved by the Saxon state parliament.
An important indicator for determining the spread of the corona virus in the population is the detection of antibodies. In contrast to the virus itself, the antibodies that an organism has developed against it can be detected for longer. This means that infections can also be recorded that the person concerned had not even noticed. Overall, the antibody tests help to get a more complete picture of the actual spread of the virus in the population. It also helps to better protect risk groups.
The Biotechnological-Biomedical Center
The Biotechnological-Biomedical Center (BBZ) is a central scientific institution of the University of Leipzig. It promotes research and development in the fields of biotechnology and biomedicine and related disciplines. The center is based in BioCity Leipzig, which was founded in 2003 as part of the biotechnology offensive of the Free State of Saxony. Science and business work together under one roof.
Adversis Pharma GmbH
Adversis Pharma GmbH is a biotechnology company founded in 2018 and based in the BioCity in Leipzig. Adversis Pharma sees itself as an innovative service provider for the diagnostics and pharmaceuticals industry, which orients test developments to the market and its end customers and pursues them with the highest priority. Adversis Pharma is backed by a team of shareholders who have many years of experience in the field of clinical diagnostics, strategic corporate management and international sales and marketing.
Source: Media information from the Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism from August 31.08.2020, XNUMX