Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Imec, MiDiagnostics Ink Licensing Agreement To Commercialize COVID-19 Breathalyzer

NEW YORK ─ Imec, a Belgian R&D organization focused on digital and nanotechnologies, said Thursday it has inked a licensing agreement that enables MiDiagnostics, a spinoff of Imec and Johns Hopkins University, to start the commercialization of a COVID-19 breathalyzer.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Leuven-based Imec said its technology enables exhaled breath aerosols and droplets to be captured for viral RNA screening using ultrafast PCR technology developed by MiDiagnostics.

The company added that in the past year, it has developed a breath sampler that leverages its chip technology, and clinical studies involving the sampler conducted with the University of Leuven and the university hospital showed it can quickly and reliably capture SARS-CoV-2 in exhaled air and detect viral RNA.

The R&D organization added that it has also developed a proof-of-concept sampling instrument that integrates its breath sampling technology and ultrafast PCR.

Katleen Verleysen, CEO of Leuven-based MiDiagnostics, said in a statement that the firm aims to make its ultrafast PCR technology, which currently operates using nasal swabs, compatible with the exhaled air samples.

A first prototype will be tested at a Brussels airport in November in collaboration with the airport, Ecolog, and Eurofins, she said.

COVID-19 PCR-testing centers at the airport are currently operated by Ecolog.

Imec said it is also investigating how its technology can be applied to diagnose cancers and other airborne infectious diseases.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.