Testing for Corona: 2 solutions ready for market – 1 elite hackathon starting up

Guest Blog Post by Lone KrogsbøllINVEST IN ODENSE

Two companies from Odense are now reaching out to the Danish authorities: “We can test for coronavirus.” On top of that, a new partnership aims to develop a robot that can do the tests.   

“Normally we would never say yes to doing prototype for a totally new product in only four weeks. It’s going to be extremely difficult, but this is our contribution to the corona situation.”

So says professor Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu from SDU’s Institute of Robotics to the Danish newspaper Børsen.
Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu has partnered up with the founder of Universal Robots, Esben Østergaard, to make a robot that can automate corona testing. In only two days they reached 2 million DKK in private funding to start their elite hackathon.

While Esben Østergaard is highly experienced in automation, Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu has made several robotic solutions for Odense University Hospital.

The first step now is to involve the right experts and quite quick to decide on a model. When the prototype is done it’s up to Esben Østergaard to scale the business – not just for this corona period, but also for other future epidemics.

Ready for market

The company PentaBase has another answer to the same challenge: The company was in local and national media this weekend, because they already produce the reagents, that the hospitals say they need to be able to test for coronavirus.

Currently, the company supplies between 100,000 and 200,000 reagents per week to a number of countries where they are used to test for corona. In addition, the company owns 14 so-called Real-Time PCR machines, which are recommended by WHO to test for coronavirus. Now PentaBase is validating the equipment in dialogue with OUH and The Danish Medicine Agency. If the tests turn out as expected the authorities can approve the products.

Another place in Odense, qDiagnostics ApS has access to a simple corona-test, with a CE approval and in the process to get an FDA approval and thereby access to the US-market.

The advantage of that test is, that it takes only 20 minutes and allows for testing outside the hospitals. This means that e.g. nurses at municipalities can use the test at healthcare workers.

qDiagnostics’ supplier has delivered 500,000 tests to Italy. Here in Denmark qDiagnostics is currently awaiting a response from the Danish Authorities about where to send the test for inspection and formal validation. The first test kits are – as we write this – getting picked up in Copenhagen Airport.

CEO in qDiagnostics, Hans Eibe (PhD) explains:

“With onsite and preventive testing, we allow businesses and public authorities like the healthcare sector to conduct their business to their maximum capacity with the knowledge that their employees are not posing a risk to themselves or others.”

Further information:

Investment Manager
Lone Krogsbøll
loak@odense.dk
+45 5177 7344