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Harvard Licenses Nasal Swab Collection Tech to Rhinostics

NEW YORK — Harvard University said on Tuesday that it has licensed a nasal swab collection technology developed at its Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering to startup Rhinostics.

Unlike traditional nasal swabs, which are manufactured in two parts that require assembly, the Wyss swabs are fully injection-molded from a single material and can be manufactured in a less expensive, one-step process, according to Harvard. In clinical testing, the swab design has been shown to effectively collect SARS-CoV-2 RNA from nasopharyngeal samples and is compatible with automated instrumentation.

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Rhinostics plans to use the technology to develop and commercialize automated and multiplexed products for processing nasal samples for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory infection testing. Harvard said that the license gives Rhinostics exclusive rights to the nasal swab technology for non-SARS-CoV-2 related applications.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Rhinostics, which was cofounded by Wyss researchers Richard Novak and Michael Springer, named Cheri Walker as its president and CEO in late 2020.