Healthtech News | 20/20 Launches New COVID-19 Test & Ionica Sciences Addressing Lyme Disease

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20/20 launches PCR COVID-19 testing to detect the virus earlier on

Currently, polymerise chain reaction (PCR) and antibody testing are the dominant ways that global healthcare systems are testing individuals for COVID-19. 20/20 GeneSystems has already sold over 100k COVID-19 antibody tests to date. This month, the company began offering PCR COVID-19 viral testing.
PCR tests are used to directly detect the presence of an antigen, rather than the presence of the body’s immune response, or antibodies. Unlike the antibody test, PCR testing can tell if someone has the virus early on before antibodies form or symptoms of the disease are present. 20/20 has already started distributing tests to a nursing home in Northern Maryland.
“We are pleased to make further contributions to our region’s pandemic response with the introduction of viral (PCR) testing,” said CEO Jonathan Cohen.
20/20 is a digital diagnostics company that specializes in developing and commercializing lab tests powered by machine learning. In addition to COVID-19, the company also develops artificial intelligence-powered diagnostics for cancer.

How Ionica Sciences is addressing Lyme disease diagnostics

Prevalence of Lyme disease has been on the rise for decades and it’s estimated that there are 427k new cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year. Early diagnosis is critical to treatment as most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. However, if not diagnosed or treated early, Lyme disease can develop into a chronic illness that leads to long-term, serious health problems and reduced quality of life. Many patients are improperly diagnosed because current diagnostic tests, ones that assess the presence of antibodies, have poor sensitivity and a high rate of false-negative and false-positive results.
Ionica Sciences is developing the IonLyme Test, which is designed to quickly confirm the presence of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease rather than diagnose based on the formation of the antibodies. A preclinical study of the IonLyme Test has shown 91% clinical accuracy in identifying Lyme disease, a significant improvement from the current diagnostic test accuracy of 57% (based on internal sensitivity testing of 23 samples, not yet verified by independent third parties, see data room for data sheet and research article dated 2016).
Backed by the Global Lyme Alliance, the leading 501 (c)(3) dedicated to conquering Lyme and other tick-borne diseases through funding innovative research, Ionica Sciences is aiming to revolutionize the diagnosis and management of Lyme.

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