Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Imec, MiDiagnostics Ink Licensing Agreement To Commercialize COVID-19 Breathalyzer

NEW YORK ─ Imec, a Belgian R&D organization focused on digital and nanotechnologies, said Thursday it has inked a licensing agreement that enables MiDiagnostics, a spinoff of Imec and Johns Hopkins University, to start the commercialization of a COVID-19 breathalyzer.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Leuven-based Imec said its technology enables exhaled breath aerosols and droplets to be captured for viral RNA screening using ultrafast PCR technology developed by MiDiagnostics.

The company added that in the past year, it has developed a breath sampler that leverages its chip technology, and clinical studies involving the sampler conducted with the University of Leuven and the university hospital showed it can quickly and reliably capture SARS-CoV-2 in exhaled air and detect viral RNA.

The R&D organization added that it has also developed a proof-of-concept sampling instrument that integrates its breath sampling technology and ultrafast PCR.

Katleen Verleysen, CEO of Leuven-based MiDiagnostics, said in a statement that the firm aims to make its ultrafast PCR technology, which currently operates using nasal swabs, compatible with the exhaled air samples.

A first prototype will be tested at a Brussels airport in November in collaboration with the airport, Ecolog, and Eurofins, she said.

COVID-19 PCR-testing centers at the airport are currently operated by Ecolog.

Imec said it is also investigating how its technology can be applied to diagnose cancers and other airborne infectious diseases.

The Scan

Could Mix It Up

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a plan that would allow for the mixing-and-matching of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and boosters, the New York Times says.

Closest to the Dog

New Scientist reports that extinct Japanese wolf appears to be the closest known wild relative of dogs.

Offer to Come Back

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the University of Tennessee is offering Anming Hu, a professor who was acquitted of charges that he hid ties to China, his position back.

PNAS Papers on Myeloid Differentiation MicroRNAs, Urinary Exosomes, Maize Domestication

In PNAS this week: role of microRNAs in myeloid differentiation, exosomes in urine, and more.