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Todos Medical, NLC Pharma to Develop, Distribute Saliva-Based Coronavirus Test

NEW YORK ─Todos Medical said on Tuesday that it has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement that involves developing NLC Pharma's 3C protease diagnostic platform for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

3C protease, a target for COVID-19 drug development, also has properties that make it a candidate for viral-load measurement using saliva because it binds to full-length viral RNA, Todos said. Using that approach, the biomarker may overcome limitations associated with other testing technologies, such as antigen and PCR tests that detect viral fractions, the firm said.

"3C protease quantitation presents a unique approach to viral replication monitoring and could prove to be a significant tool in the fight against COVID-19," Jorge Leon, senior medical advisor to Rehovot, Israel-based Todos, said in a statement.

The in vitro diagnostics firm said it intends to develop an at-home or onsite 3C protease-based test kit that uses a cell-phone camera and software for data analysis, and enables integration with contact tracing, telehealth, and employer-based health solutions coming to market. The firms also anticipate developing the test for use in airports and public places.

Todos Medical and Israel-based NLC Pharma anticipate applying for US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization for the kit and seeking approval from the Ministry of Health in Israel.