Edmonton Airport to host clinical trials of new Covid-19 testing technology
Edmonton International Airport (EIA) has partnered with GLC Medical, a subsidiary of Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC), to host clinical trials of a new technology for Covid-19 testing that can produce results in seconds.
GLC Medical (GLCM), headquartered in the Edmonton Research Park, has garnered international attention for the development of this test and is still undergoing clinical testing as part of the regulatory approval process with health authorities. As an airport, EIA understands working with governments and within a regulated structure. With secure and safe facilities and a consistent flow of passengers, it is one reason an airport is an ideal place to start testing the trial phase of this new Covid-19 rapid test.
Prototype of graphene-enhanced testing device
for Covid-19 virus detection Source: GLC Medical (GLCM) Inc.
“We all want travel to get back to normal and a rapid Covid-19 test will accelerate this return while enhancing passenger confidence in the safety of our industry. While we have seen some growth in recent months, our passenger numbers during Covid-19 continue to remain low and a test like this is crucial to our future. All airlines, airports and the whole travel and hospitality sector are looking for this solution. If EIA can play a role in bringing new technology and science forward by partnering with experts like GLC that’s exactly what we’re going to do. This is an exciting opportunity for all of us,” said Tom Ruth, president and CEO, Edmonton International Airport.
“We are very excited to offer the world a graphene-enhanced rapid solution in Covid-19 virus detection. The opportunity to collaborate with EIA, a world-respected airport authority, to enable travel and to bring families back together is very rewarding for us. This graphene-enhanced rapid test demonstrates the power of graphene innovation to overcome the challenges of COVID-19. GLC is proud to be a part of EIA’s initiative in setting the global standard in safety and reliability for their travelers,” said Donna Mandau, president & CEO, Graphene Leaders Canada (GLC)/GLC Medical.
This test is conducted with a handheld unit that takes a saliva sample from a person and is expected to tell if someone has Covid-19 in under a minute, compared to other tests with longer laboratory-based waiting periods for results. This test promises many advantages from its ease of use to the elimination of the nasal swab to direct virus detection. This kind of test will help address the need for a 14-day quarantine period in Canada and potentially other international quarantine restrictions. By removing or reducing this barrier, it can help travellers feel safer in returning to travel.
How the test works
• The person being tested provides a saliva sample into the testing unit;
• The graphene surface inside the testing unit is designed to bond to the spike protein in the virus;
• This binding event changes the electronic characteristics of the graphene, and this measurable change is what is used to determine if a person is infected or not;
• The device will show a red or green light in under 1-minute to indicate if a person is virus free or not;
• The test is not required to be administered by a medical professional and with training can be administered by anyone, similar to how basic first aid training is done.
The next step is to bring this test and GLC to EIA and establish a safe and secure test site. Details about the testing and the process will be shared in the coming weeks. A start date has not been determined, but once it begins, the clinical trial will last several weeks over this fall. This trial phase will help GLC Medical secure regulatory approval and certification for its test from Health Canada and other regulatory bodies, including in the United States and other areas of the world.