ImmuSAFE COVID+ to verify efficacy of vaccines

07 Apr 2021 / 15:54 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The ImmuSAFE COVID+ biochip test, jointly developed between Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), Sengenics and the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), will be used as one of the tests to verify the efficacy of the various vaccines used in Malaysia.

This is in line with the goal to achieve herd immunity from Covid-19 under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Plan, said MARii in a statement today.

“The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that the immune response tests related to Covid-19 vaccines will be done using the ImmuSAFE biochip technology.

“ImmuSAFE is the world’s first lab-based, multi-antigen and multi-domain Covid-19 serology test (examination of blood serum) comprising of nine functionally validated domains or regions of the Nucleocapsid (N) and Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 expressed using Sengenics’ KREX protein folding technology,” it said.

According to the statement, the test was fully quantitative, enabling high-throughput screening of Covid-19 samples for diagnosis of current or prior infection, as well as for quantitation and localisation of antibody binding, thereby providing a means to identify antibody correlates of ongoing protection and development of durable immunity against future SARS-CoV-2 infection.

MARii said the ImmuSAFE test allowed quantitative testing of the prevalence of protective antibodies against Covid-19, developed by the body's immune system, either through vaccination or natural development from an infection.

“This means that ImmuSAFE provides a measurable verification method to verify the effectiveness of any immunisation roll out, regardless of the type of vaccine.

“The ImmuSAFE test has a sensitivity and specificity of 100 per cent - and has been validated by the IMR, the biomedical research arm of Ministry of Health (MOH). This makes it an ideal platform for verifying the ability of vaccines to effectively immunise a population, as well as other applications in Covid-19 seroprevalence studies,” it added.

MARii also announced that it was working with the MOH on a longitudinal study on the antibodies in patients that have recovered from Covid-19, or were asymptomatic despite becoming Covid-19 positive.

The statement said that the longitudinal study will involve observation and quantitative testing over a period of time to determine the ability of individuals to retain protective antibodies in their immune system.

ImmuSAFE can be used to identify individuals who have various titres of potentially neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, said MARii.

The data and results of the study would provide a better understanding of immunisation patterns and health management in the future.

MARii is an agency established under the purview of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry Malaysia (MITI) that serves to spur the development of strategic and operational intelligent systems through the humanisation and utilisation of smart platforms, applications and digital technologies such as Big Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.- Bernama

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