Kelowna startup receives funding to develop COVID-19 test

Metabolic Insights Inc. received a $300,000 grant from the National Research Council

A Kelowna-based startup has received some funding to develop a new test to detect COVID-19.

Metabolic Insights Inc. announced it was awarded $300,000 by the Industrial Research Assistance Program of the National Research Council Canada.

The funds will be used to repurpose the company’s existing salivary insulin technology to detect COVID-19, as well as the virus antibody in a person’s saliva.

Originally, the company built a platform to analyze various proteins by using a person’s saliva and other body fluids.

Currently, COVID-19 testing includes a nasal swabbing procedure. The swab is then sent to a centralized laboratory to detect the presence of the virus. The current test is time-consuming, with results not communicated to patients for 24 hours or more, especially for patients in rural areas where healthcare isn’t easily accessible.

In a statement, the Metabolic Insights said a saliva-based test would be non-invasive and quick, as it allows transferring testing from a hospital to an outpatient environment.

“This would make it an ideal tool for screening by physicians, pharmacies, a point-of-care home diagnosis, and distribution to rural populations,” the statement said.

Metabolic Insights’ CEO David Turner said the grant will help the company accelerate its ability to test not just COVID-19, but other infectious diseases as well.

“We hope to dramatically shift how testing and monitoring for this and other clinically impactful proteins can occur in the future. Our goal is to be able to detect the COVID-19 virus through a small saliva sample in under ten minutes,” he said.

COVID-19 testing is available through physician referral or HealthLink BC.

READ: Risk of Okanagan flooding decreases despite rainy week ahead

READ: Interior Health sets up drive-thru testing in Kelowna


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Morning Start: Big Bertha is the oldest cow to ever live

Your morning start for Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Summerland approves solar project

Despite community opposition, council voted 4-3 for Cartwright Mountain location

Two positive COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm

The risk of exposure to the general public related to this farm is considered to be low

Oliver Town Hall closed to public as staffer shows COVID-19 symptoms

One staff member at Oliver Town Hall is being tested for coronavirus

Penticton woman struck by mystery bullet

Woman suffers no major injuries; RCMP without any leads, investigation continues

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hitchhiker with metal pipe prompts RCMP to close of Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Police respond to report of man who pointed what was believed to be a rifle at passing driver

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Police search for suspect in assault on woman in downtown Kelowna

Kelowna police received a report a woman had been assaulted by an unknown man on July 12

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Horoscopes for the week of July 13

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

Most Read