Oxford Nanopore and SourceBio announce commercial partnership for UK COVID-19 testing service

Oxford Nanopore’s rapid LamPORE COVID-19 test to be made available via SourceBio accredited lab facilities.

Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited (“Oxford Nanopore”), a leading next generation DNA/RNA sequencing technology company and SourceBio International plc (“SourceBio”), an international provider of integrated state of the art laboratory services and products, announce a strategic commercial partnership to offer a commercially available COVID-19 testing solution to corporate customers wishing to provide high quality testing to their employees or other stakeholders, at scale. The test will also be offered to consumers.

If you are a company or organization wishing to deploy testing for your teams, please contact us using this form. If you are a private individual wishing to have a COVID test, please use this link.

Oxford Nanopore’s CE-marked LamPORE COVID-19 assay, for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, will be used at SourceBio’s state-of-the-art ISO15189 accredited laboratory facility in Nottingham to offer a large-scale COVID-19 diagnostic testing service.

LamPORE is a new generation of test; LamPORE COVID-19 is specifically designed to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  LamPORE is rapid and highly scalable, allowing for high performance test deployment in both high-throughput, traditional laboratory settings as well smaller, more local lab environments – addressing the need for rapid, routine testing of large numbers of people. LamPORE has been shown to have sensitivity of 99.1% and specificity of 99.6%.

In this instance, the LamPORE COVID-19 test is performed from oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs which are sent to SourceBio for assessment and can return a positive or negative result within 24 hours of the laboratory receiving the sample.  LamPORE also includes a built-in human actin control, which enables operators to discriminate between negative results due to sample collection errors and negative results due to the absence of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

With options for using LamPORE in a fixed laboratory, or even in mobile community testing, the service is expected to broaden access to rapid, high quality testing to support people to return to work, to visit friends and relatives safely, and potentially assist with international travel where testing is accepted or required, given that LamPORE is a high-accuracy molecular test.

The COVID-19 testing service using LamPORE will be offered as an additional service by SourceBio to complement its existing COVID-19 PCR Testing services which is currently used by the NHS, Private Healthcare providers and other commercial customers.

Gordon Sanghera, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited, said: “We are delighted that high quality COVID-19 testing with LamPORE will now be available privately in the UK through the high-quality labs of Source Bioscience.  As the UK rolls out a vaccine programme, the importance of safeguarding workforces and customers, as well as friends and family, remains a priority for many businesses and individuals. We’re committed to being part of the solution in the UK public and private sectors, and pleased that our technology can support a transition back to work, leisure and family life.”

Jay LeCoque, Executive Chairman of SourceBio International plc, said: “The commercial relationship that we have developed with Oxford Nanopore is a valuable partnership that delivers essential testing technology and a high-quality service offering, at a crucial time in the worldwide effort to combat and manage the further spread of Coronavirus. This alliance effectively creates a ‘total solutions approach’ for both company’s offerings by combining Oxford Nanopore’s leading LamPORE COVID-19 test with our UKAS accredited laboratory services. this combination allows both companies to provide clients with a high quality, highly scalable and highly professional product and a fully accredited laboratory services capability.”

“The UK Government has minimum standards for private sector providers of COVID-19 testing and we are delighted to have been awarded full UKAS ISO15189 status for our COVID testing. Very few commercial institutions have received this standard and it is a mandatory requirement from next summer 2021. This underscores the high standard of our accredited testing services and provides us with a significant advantage in the market.”

LamPORE is a new generation of COVID-19 test that uses Oxford Nanopore’s sequencing technology. Beyond testing for COVID-19, the nanopore platform is being explored by the scientific community for a broader range of analyses, including detection of multiple respiratory pathogens, characterization of drug-resistant bacteria, analysis of cancer samples and tissue matching for transplantation.