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State funds the development of rapid tests for coronavirus

Hahn-Schickard and Spindiag GmbH from Freiburg will receive 6 million euros in order to establish a PCR-based corona rapid test on their diagnostic platform. The system is expected to be available on the market at the latest by the summer of 2020

On-site test systems performed in doctors’ offices, hospitals, testing centers, senior living facilities and nursing homes provide simple usage and fast, reliable test results directly where they are needed and within the shortest possible time.

Together with the Freiburg-based Spindiag GmbH, the Hahn-Schickard Institute for Microanalytical Systems in Freiburg is now receiving 6 million euros in funding from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Construction for such a test system. With this funding, the research and development service provider Hahn-Schickard and the medical technology spin-off Spindiag, which was established in 2016, are reacting to the current bottleneck in the supply of rapid tests.

The system is based on a previously jointly developed on-site test system for the detection of multi-resistant bacteria. The test requires only a swab for sampling, a disposable test cartridge and a handy, mobile analysis device. The test system is based on the so-called “Polymerase Chain Reaction” (PCR), which is considered the gold standard in infection diagnostics. It can be determined within 30-40 minutes whether a person is infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus or not. The system is characterized above all by the simple and safe test execution. The swab used for the nasal or throat swab is inserted directly into the cartridge. No further work with the patient sample is necessary, thus minimizing the risk of contamination and infection for the staff.

Due to the urgency of the approval of this funding, the Economic Committee of the State Parliament convened today for an online special session, allegedly for the first time in its history. In advance, Prof. Dr. Erik Schweickert MdL, Member of the State Parliament and Chairman of its Economic Committee, visited Hahn-Schickard himself this morning at 8:00 am. Spindiag Managing Director Dr. Daniel Mark and Hahn-Schickard Institute Director Prof. Dr. Roland Zengerle demonstrated the machine.

More information

The nested PCR test delivers results in about 35 minutes directly where they are needed. Source: Spindiag
Professor Erik Schweickert MdL (far right) visited Hahn-Schickard to see for himself the test system that is now being further developed for corona detection. Dr. Daniel Mark from Spindiag (left) and Hahn-Schickard Director Professor Roland Zengerle demonstrated the system. Source: Hahn-Schickard


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