Australia based Rhinomed Limited announced today they are developing a nasal swab.
Rhinomed notes this new high-yielding nasal swab that can collect samples from the nose to test for the presence of upper respiratory tract diseases, including influenza and coronavirus strains.
The new nasal swab is an extension of Rhinomed’s nasal technology platform and intellectual property patent portfolio and leverages the company’s significant depth of experience as a world-leading developer of nasal devices. Rhinomed’s existing nasal products have been worn comfortably and safely since 2016 and are sold in more than 20,000 pharmacies around the world.
While the new swab will use standard electrostatically flocked nylon to capture sample material, Rhinomed has leveraged the learnings from its class-leading US FDA and Australian TGA-registered nasal devices Mute (anti-snoring), Pronto (anti-nasal-congestion and sleep improvement), and Turbine (improved breathing for sports) to create a new nasal swab that the company believes has compelling benefits over products currently on the market.
Rhinomed’s nasal swab is designed to be:
- Less invasive and more comfortable than standard nasopharyngeal swabs;
- Unique in that it collects a sample from both nostrils simultaneously;
- Able to collect samples from a far greater surface area of the nose than normal swabs;
- Able to be self-administered easily, anywhere, reducing the risk of infection of healthcare workers; and
- Able to be used by a wide number of people, every day
Rhinomed’s nasal swab is designed for self-collection either in the home, the workplace, or in a clinical setting and is expected to respond to the significant issues that exist with current nasopharyngeal swabs which are reportedly both highly invasive and uncomfortable. The vast majority of existing nasal swabs require a healthcare worker (HCW) to collect the sample, which places the healthcare worker at a real risk of infection. The use of healthcare workers and the requisite personal protection equipment (PPE) also comes with a significant cost.
The new Rhinomed swab is designed to be able to collect a significantly larger sample, be worn for a predetermined time (it remains snugly in place), and collect a sample from both nostrils simultaneously, thus offering the potential for a more effective diagnostic sample. The swab has been designed to fit into existing vials and work with existing pathology workflows.
“An increasing body of evidence and research supports the proposition that mass, high-frequency testing could be a vital tool in managing epidemics, pandemics, and infectious disease outbreaks,” said Rhinomed CEO Michael Johnson. “Rhinomed believes that an effective, easy-to-use, and comfortable nasal swab that everyone can use, every day, could play an important role in achieving this outcome. It is possible that this type of solution when coupled with both existing and emerging pathology solutions could play a vital part in interrupting coronavirus transmission.”
The Company is now rapidly scoping out manufacturing and is assessing additive manufacturing (3D printing) solutions, existing offshore manufacturing resources and scoping out the possibility of local manufacturing. The company will register the device in Australia, the USA, and in the European Union as a Class 1 medical device and has begun defining the protocol for a clinical trial to be carried out at a leading Melbourne hospital.
Rhinomed is advancing discussions with potential commercial partners in respect to the program. Further details on the clinical and commercial program will be announced in due course as they are finalized.
This announcement has been authorized for release by the Board.