Simple Skin Patch Empowers Individuals to Monitor for Immune Response to Help Stop COVID-19 Spread
Diomics, a San Diego-based biotech company, today announced that it has been awarded a $2,125,000 Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the U.S. Department of Defense to accelerate development and testing of its Diocheck™ SARS-CoV-2 Visual Immune Response Indicator, a transdermal skin patch that monitors and reports when the wearer’s body has mounted an immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
A change in skin color visible through the patch indicates that the person has either recently been exposed to the virus and should get tested and quarantine, or has recovered from a previous coronavirus infection and may still retain immunity. The patch begins to detect an immune response within 24 to 36 hours of application and is expected to effectively monitor for up to 14 days.
The Diocheck patch answers one of the biggest roadblocks to halting the spread of COVID-19—a simple, universal way for people to continually monitor their own immune status over an extended period of time. Until there’s an effective vaccine in widespread use, large populations can use the patch to monitor themselves and know quickly if they have been exposed to the virus and need to get tested and take precautions to avoid infecting others.
"The Diocheck patch responds to the great unknown of how many people are unintentionally widening the spread by being asymptomatic carriers," Diomics CEO Anthony Zolezzi said. "Enabling people to monitor their own health status and be confident of the status of those around them is the key to being able to safely reopen schools, theaters, offices and other places. Widespread use of the Diocheck indicator patch will give us a simple, effective, non-invasive way to know that we are all actively protecting each other."
The key to Diocheck’s ability to monitor for an immune response over an extended period of time is Diomics’ proprietary biopolymer material, Diomat™, which is made from an already FDA-approved material used in a range of other diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
The company is also developing an intradermal version of Diocheck that uses nano-sized beads of the same biopolymer inserted just under the skin to detect and visually report the formation of an immune reaction to a SARS-CoV-2 protein.
Both versions of Diocheck are readily scalable to provide consistent, accurate, ongoing monitoring of the immunity status of essential front-line workers, including military, healthcare, transportation and public safety personnel, as well as teachers and students.
The Diocheck system is entering preclinical animal studies under the guidance of Jonathan R.T. Lakey, Ph.D., M.S.M., Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. Human clinical trials are expected to begin in December 2020.
To learn more about Diocheck and the Diomics Pandemic Prevention Platform visit diomics.com.
About Diomics, Inc.
Diomics Corporation is a biotechnology company focused on science-based innovation and the development of life-improving products. Our proprietary Diomat™ technology platform is optimized for the collection and delivery of compounds and proteins and can also be used for drug delivery, long-term monitoring, diagnostics and production of life-saving hormones and other bio-compounds. Based in San Diego, California, Diomics has developed numerous products, tools and services for the molecular, diagnostic and forensic industries. For more information visit diomics.com.
About the University of California, Irvine
Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command
The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 820 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick MD 21702-5014 is the awarding and administering acquisition office. This work was supported by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command’s (USAMRDC) Military Infectious Disease Research Program (MIDRP) and the Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP), through the "Wearable Diagnostic for Detection of COVID-19 Infection" Request for Project Proposals issued under the MTEC OTA (W81XWH-15-9-0001). Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the MIDRP or MOMRP.
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