The share price of Israeli company NextGen Biomed Ltd. (TASE: NXGN) jumped 35% today on the news that Scentech, which it is merging with, has reported success in identifying several initial indicators of biomarkers in mapping the fingerprint of Covid-19, which will allow it to produce a breath test for Covid-19.
NextGen said that after collecting respiratory specimens as part of clinical research conducted at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba and in the Israel Defense Forces, hundreds of samples have been analyzed in Scentech's analytical laboratory using its advanced devices and the unique methodology and algorithms that it has developed.
The results obtained so far, after the company's first scan, have identified in testing the samples some gas compounds that are related to Covid-19 that have been verified by scientific papers that have been published on the topic as well as in research conducted independently worldwide. The company will begin a validation trial in the coming weeks usually specially designed equipment, which it is hoped will verify the data gathered by the company and allow it to offer the first authentic breath tests for identifying the virus.
NextGen and Scentech are hoping that the validation tests will comply with regulatory standards and enable receipt of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) marketing approval and Israel's Ministry of Health marketing approval.
Scentech CEO Drew Morris said, "We are very encouraged by the success in identifying the indicators and moving closer to completing initial performance biomarkers and the start of a broader research for swift testing using breakthrough technology. We hope to produce a test which is reliable, and significantly cheaper and more rapid that today's existing tests including PCR."