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New York, NY – August 19, 2021 – With the number of new COVID cases surging, fueled by a highly contagious Delta variant and only 50% of the US population having been vaccinated, the need for rapid testing and treatments is more important than ever. Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attributes between 80% and 87% of all US COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks of July to the new Delta variant. As biotechnology companies like Cocrystal Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP) and Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) continue working to create antiviral treatments for COVID-19 and emerging variants and vaccine-makers like Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) boost production, it’s becoming increasingly clear that rapid test developers like Sixth Wave Innovations Inc. (OTCQB:SIXWF) (CSE:SIXW) and Co-Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ:CODX) will be instrumental in helping curb the ongoing spread of the virus.
The increase in cases and decrease in vaccine effectiveness should be of concern, since it indicates that the Delta variant has the potential to cause COVID-19 outbreaks, even in highly vaccinated populations, warranting the development of rapid testing.
Fortunately, Sixth Wave Innovations Inc. a nanotechnology company with patented technologies that focus on extraction and detection of target substances at the molecular level using highly specialized Molecularly Imprinted Polymers (MIPs) just announced that it has improved the sensitivity and capability of its leading-edge nanotechnology to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 at levels below 1,000,000 virus particles/mL.
“Reaching sensitivity measurements of 1,000,000 virus particles/mL is a huge technical achievement,” says Dr. Michael Joyce, a virologist who carried out the research at the University of Alberta’s Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology. “At this level, infectious persons who are actively shedding the virus can be detected.”
This high level of sensitivity is crucial to detecting infectious patients, and an important clinical weapon in the struggle to control the global spread of the Covid pandemic.
This announcement comes on the heels of two prior critical milestones. On April 14, Sixth Wave Innovations Inc. successfully demonstrated colorimetric detection of SARS-CoV-2,its patent pending Accelerated Molecular Imprinted Polymers (AMIPs) technology. Then on June 10, the company successfully demonstrated the detection of the UK and the South African SARS-CoV-2 variants, using two independent techniques: a color-based sensor and independently verified on a Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) based AMIP sensor.
Co-Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ:CODX) has also been making major advancements and recently announced the publication of a paper showing its Logix Smart™ COVID-19 Test Kit was used to demonstrate that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be detected in cancer tissue of coronavirus patients, even before symptoms occur.
Vaccine Development Against Variants Continues To Gather Momentum
On June 14, Cocrystal Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:COCP) announced that its lead preclinical SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease inhibitor CDI-45205 is active against SARS-CoV-2 and two prominent SARS-CoV-2 variants. A third-party laboratory contracted by Cocrystal conducted in vitro studies evaluating the antiviral activity of CDI-45205 and its analogs and results showed it had excellent antiviral activity against both the United Kingdom and South Africa variants.
In a recent update, multinational pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK) announced Phase 2 interim results from two Phase 2/3 clinical trials (MOVe-OUT and MOVe-IN) of molnupiravir (MK-4482/EIDD-2801), an investigational oral antiviral therapeutic. The Phase 3 portion of the global MOVe-OUT trial is now underway and the company plans to initiate a clinical program to evaluate molnupiravir for post-exposure prophylaxis in the second half of 2021.
Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) also just announced the publication of new data on the durability of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in generating neutralizing antibodies against variants of concern. According to the paper, the majority of individuals vaccinated with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine maintained both binding and functional antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants for six months after the second dose. Furthermore, the study showed that after two doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, binding and neutralizing antibodies were generated against ancestral strains of the virus and against the variants of concern, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Iota.
Going forward, all evidence points to an extended coexistence with COVID-19, meaning that precision testing for the virus – such as that demonstrated by Sixth Wave’s AMIPs technology – will remain critically important for the foreseeable future.
To learn more about Sixth Wave and the Accelerated Molecular Imprinted Polymers (AMIPs) technology, click here.
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