The company behind the Premier League and Heathrow testing programmes has acquired a rapid Covid-19 testing business spun out of Oxford University.
Biotech firm Prenetics today said it has acquired exclusive global rights to Oxsed, which has developed a low-cost coronavirus test that delivers results in 15 to 30 minutes.
The companies are now targeting testing capacity of 5m globally by the end of the year.
The Oxford test, which is already used for pre-departure passenger tests at Heathrow, is at least 92 per cent accurate and has received regulatory approval in the UK and EU.
The saliva-based antigen test, known as LAMP, provides rapid turnaround results and forms a key part of the government’s “moonshot” plan to ramp up testing provisions across the UK.
Hong Kong-based Prenetics said significant capacity would be reserved at lower costs, meaning it will be accessible for lower and middle income countries. The firm will be pricing the machines at under $500 per unit.
“We will be playing our part in unlocking the UK’s economy and ways of living, by making a significant contribution to the government’s targets, the so-called ‘moonshot’,” said Avi Lasarow, chief executive of Prenetics UK and EMEA.
“We are delighted to be partnering with some of the world-class intellectual property coming out of Oxford University, and will be investing in the further excellence of its capabilities.”
It comes a month after Prenetics secured $15m in fresh funding to help accelerate its development of rapid coronavirus testing.
In addition to the Premier League and Heathrow, the company also runs testing for British Boxing Board of Control and the England and Wales Cricket Board, as well as on film productions at Pinewood Studios.