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Launch of pilot study for the early detection of COVID-19 disease in saliva

The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) will carry out a pilot study for the early detection of COVID-19 disease in saliva using a highly multiplexed diagnostic kit, developed at the UPM, and the biodMOX workstation, developed by biod. This technology is provided to the UPM by biod at no cost for the realization of this pilot.

The diagnostic kit consists of a biosensor where the Group of Optics, Photonics and Biophotonics (GOFB) of the Center for Biomedical Technology of the UPM has immobilized Spike 1 protein, the recombinant protein of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Human antibodies react specifically against that protein, changing the optical response of the diagnostic kits that is properly read by the biodMOX workstation. The genetic sequence of the protein was transferred by the National Center for Biotechnology to the Center for Biotechnology and Plant Genomics (CBGP) of the UPM. The CBGP are currently producing the protein and making it available for the GOFB, so they can develop diagnostic kits and perform biological assays.

The study will consist of measuring an early biomarker of COVID-19 in the saliva of 400 volunteers every 15 days and will be carried out until December 31, 2020. It has the general objective of validating the clinical trial, conducting an epidemiological study, and validating both the diagnostic method and the technology for this use case.