Enterprise Europe Network

Covid-19: new sample medium for faster and simpler testing for SARS, flu and other viral infections

Country of origin:
External Id: 
Last update
Expiration date


Partner keyword: 
Diagnostics, Diagnosis
Virus, Virology/Antibiotics/Bacteriology
In-vitro diagnostics
Disposable products


In collaboration with a university, an East of England SME has launched a novel buffer for shipping and testing samples of Covid-19, flu and further viral pathogens. It obviates requirements for cold chain transport and pathogenic sample testing, whilst being compatible with well-known protocols. Thus the throughput of testing increases. Testing authorities and vendors of related products are sought for commercial agreements with technical assistance.



In many countries, the turnaround time for testing for Covid-19 is not fast enough. Much of the time gets lost in the transport, and too few labs comply with the standards for pathogenic samples.
A UK SME in collaboration with a regional university is now offering a new product to remove some bottlenecks. It provides a buffer that will inactivate viruses responsible for pandemics such as Covid-19 and seasonal influenza and epidemics such as SARS, MERS and Ebola.
This product has been developed to inactivate the pathogen in the transport tube containing a patient sample, to lyse cells and denature any virus in the sample, rendering the virus inactive and nonpathogenic. This results in a non-pathogenic sample for transport and testing. Samples do not need to be maintained at +4°C, removing the requirement for a cold chain in handling and thereby greatly reducing transport costs.
The throughput will increase as the requirement for Category 2+/3 handling of potentially pathogenic samples is reduced. Also, testing becomes easier. The product is widely compatible with current RNA extraction protocols and can be used without disruption to current processing protocols. Samples treated with it can also be used directly in standard RNA extraction protocols without the need to add further denaturing buffer in the first extraction step, thereby allowing samples to be added directly without dilution, making RNA extraction protocols more efficient and with higher sensitivity due to the increased volume purified.
This buffer acts as a stabiliser since the formulation will destroy the enzymes and proteins (including RNAses) which are responsible for the degradation of the RNA/DNA. The solution does not contain PCR (polymerase chain reaction) inhibitors.
The company is looking for public health authorities across the network countries to acquire the product, or vendors of related products to bundle this with other products, under commercial agreements with technical assistance. The UK company will provide the technical and safety literature for the product, and provide training.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
This is an effective product, validated by Public Health England, allowing for faster and easier testing during pandemics and epidemics.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Already on the market

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
Role of partner sought: government, public health organisations, industry. Specific area of partner sought: testing of Covid-19 and other viral pathogens, sales of related products. Role of partner sought: to acquire products or bundle with own products under commercial agreements with technical assistance.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500