Ellume and Cambridge Consultants collaborate on COVID-19 test

Using the same core technology that Cambridge Consultants helped develop, Ellume has created two other COVID-19 diagnostic tests in the past year

A partnership between Ellume and Cambridge Consultants, part of the Capgemini Group has developed a multi-component reader that combines optics, electronics and software, and powers the core technology behind Ellume’s COVID-19 home test. The rapid self-test has been granted emergency authorisation use by the FDA for both asymptomatic and symptomatic use without a prescription. In February, Ellume announced a $231.8 m agreement with the US government, including the delivery of 8.5 m home tests to support the government’s pandemic response and the establishment of the company’s first manufacturing facility.

The test is the result of several years of work from team at Cambridge Consultants to create the ultrasensitive, optoelectronic detection system used across all of Ellume’s diagnostics products. The technology includes a sensitive, but inexpensive reader to detect and interpret the near-infrared photons emitted from a quantum dot captured at the test zones of a lateral flow test strip. The reader is then coupled with Ellume’s supercharged fluorescent immunochromatography.

“The Cambridge Consultants team’s dedicated work and novel approach helped us to create a highly accurate and quantitative digital immunoassay that is also affordable, robust and simple to use – the crucial elements at the heart of successful at-home testing,” said Dr Sean Parsons, CEO and founder of Ellume. “At-home, rapid testing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in the coming months. Without Cambridge Consultants and their continued partnership over the years, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve technical success.”

“Dr Parsons came to us with a big challenge and a strong vision that together, we faced head on. At the time, we never knew the impact it would have on the COVID-19 epidemic,” said Nick Hawson, Senior VP for MedTech (US West) at Cambridge Consultants. “We’ve created a strong, long-lasting partnership with Ellume rooted in collaboration and innovation, and we hope we continue to find ways to use this technology in digital diagnostics and continue our impact on global health.”

Using the same core technology that Cambridge Consultants helped develop, Ellume has created two other COVID-19 diagnostic tests in the past year – the Qiareach COVID-19 antigen and antibody tests for the laboratory market and Ellume·lab COVID-19 serology and antigen tests for healthcare professionals, which the company plans to launch later in 2021. It has also leveraged the technology for its rapid home flu test and diagnostic assay for tuberculosis.

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