Hoth Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOTH), a biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has entered into a Sponsored Research Agreement (“SRA”) with the George Washington University (“GW”) relating to the development of an in vitro diagnostic device that has the potential for testing by patients anywhere to allow public health professionals to immediately detect SARS-CoV-2 via a mobile device as an aid in the diagnosis of the COVID-19 infection.
The device, which is based upon intellectual property rights licensed by Hoth from GW, is a nanohole array (“NHA”) based plasmonic system being designed for high sensitivity and specificity for detecting the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The device uses a thin sheet of gold coated with virus-specific proteins that can bind with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Once the SARS-CoV-2 virus binds, the wavelength of light bouncing off the surface changes, creating a different color of light. This change in light color can be detected by a smartphone camera and an app with algorithms designed to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The test has the potential to provide results within minutes and the results can then be sent to healthcare professionals or public health databases using the app on the patient’s mobile device.
The objective of the SRA is to design and assess the analytical performance of the NHA-based system to directly detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus and distinguish that binding from other human coronaviruses.
“Hoth is pleased to once again be working alongside some of the most renowned experts in the fields of engineering and public health research at GW,” stated, Robb Knie, Chairman and CEO of Hoth Therapeutics. “Narrowing down the time in which a COVID-19 test is administered and when results are provided remains a significant issue for our society. A device that can provide immediate COVID-19 test results would have a dramatic impact on our economy returning to normal once again. We are committed to doing what we can to fast-track the development of this device, which could potentially have a monumental impact in slowing and or stopping the spread of COVID-19 when its presence is detected.”
“Our research team is very pleased that Hoth Therapeutics has decided to partner with GW to develop this important SARS-CoV-2 virus detection system,” said Dr. Mona Zaghloul, a GW professor of electrical and computer engineering and the principal investigator of the research team that created the diagnostic device. “Our device has great potential to help in the fight against COVID-19, and we are proud to be able to contribute to stopping the spread of the disease.”
“What we need is a home-based test that is both inexpensive and simple to use that could quickly identify asymptomatic people shedding high levels of virus,” said Jeanne Jordan, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at GW Milken Institute School of Public Health. “Such a test could be a game changer for identifying those at greatest risk of transmitting the virus to others. A home-based test could pave the way toward a safe reopening of schools and the economy.”
“There is a significant unmet need for rapid COVID-19 in vitro diagnostic devices that can be used at home or in other non-lab settings by patients,” stated Stefanie Johns, Chief Scientific Officer of Hoth Therapeutics. “The availability of a rapid COVID-19 test that can be used by patients in any location, and have results immediately shared with healthcare providers, would be a dramatic advancement for the battle against COVID-19 and improve access to COVID-19 testing for Americans. We plan to start discussions with the US Food and Drug Administration about the development plans for this novel technology in early 2021 to position the device for an emergency use authorization request.”