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DnaNudge, Benchmark Electronics Ink Manufacturing Deal for Rapid Molecular Coronavirus Kit

NEW YORK ─ Benchmark Electronics and DnaNudge on Wednesday announced a manufacturing partnership aimed at the high-volume production of DnaNudge's RT-PCR testing system for SARS-CoV-2.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

London-based DnaNudge has re-engineered its consumer DNA test to detect SARS-CoV-2. The test system delivers results in about an hour and does not require use of a laboratory, the firms said. 

The new test, CovidNudge, works by placing a patient's swab sample into a single-use DNA cartridge. RNA extracted from the sample is inserted into a system component called the NudgeBox for analysis and reverse transcribing to DNA.

DnaNudge selected Tempe, Arizona-based Benchmark to manufacture the Nudgebox and optimize it for reliability and manufacturability, and to optimize the supply chain to rapidly launch and ramp production, the firms said.

By combining DnaNudge's expertise in DNA testing with Benchmark's design and production capabilities, the firms can meet anticipated demand for the technology, Chris Toumazou, CEO and cofounder of DnaNudge, said in a statement.

In August, the UK government announced a 5.8 million order for CovidNudge test kits to enable their rollout in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals and out-of-hospital locations. The rollout, pending successful validation of the test, is scheduled to start this month.  

DnaNudge's system detects the presence of several COVID-19 genes and can detect other viruses such as flu A, flu B, and RSV, the firms said.