HiberGene announces saliva based testing for COVID-19

Covid-19 Saliva-Sample Test

Dublin, Ireland, 8th March 2021 – HiberGene Diagnostics today announced a new application for their fast molecular COVID-19 test. 

The CE marked test, already in widespread Irish and international use for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in respiratory swabs, can now be used to identify the virus in saliva samples.

The announcement follows a study performed at Queen’s University Belfast with the support of a European Horizon 2020 grant, which saw a population of extracted saliva samples from individuals experiencing Covid-like symptoms tested with both HiberGene’s LAMP-based molecular diagnostic product and a PCR test.  The results showed excellent agreement between the two methods, with results for positive samples available within 25 minutes of loading onto HiberGene’s small portable analyser.

“There are multiple benefits to saliva samples over swab samples.” said Dr Gary Keating, CTO, HiberGene Diagnostics. “A saliva sample is a quicker, less invasive, and more scalable approach to sampling.  A person simply has to provide the sample in a collection device without the need for a Healthcare worker to be in contact and so the risk to Healthcare workers is reduced.”

As living with COVID-19 is likely to be a reality for the near future, regular testing is expected to become part of our everyday. Making that test easier and safer for everyone is a big step forward in tackling the spread of the virus and how it impacts on our lives.

Deirdre Glenn, Head of Lifesciences, Enterprise Ireland said; “Irish lifesciences and medtech companies are innovating in response to the pandemic, contributing to Ireland being positioned 5th in the world for the export of COVID-19 related goods and services. Hibergene, an Enterprise Ireland supported company, has played a significant role in this international effort, with the delivery of rapid testing for COVID-19 to meet the soaring global demand. This innovative new application for the test will make a huge contribution to dealing with COVID-19 in a safer and more efficient manner.”

HiberGene Diagnostics first launched a rapid molecular COVID-19 test in May 2020. The CE marked test is in widespread use internationally and in Ireland.

EU HiberGene is a lead member of an international consortium which was awarded the grant of €930,000 from Horizon 2020, the EU programme for support to research and innovation. Other members include Queens University Belfast, Medcaptain Medical Technology Ltd., and IRCCS Ospedale Policlinico San Martino in Genoa Italy.

About HiberGene Diagnostics
HiberGene develops, manufactures, and sells molecular diagnostics for human infectious diseases. To date, it has developed and commercialized a range of near-patient molecular tests in the areas of critical infectious diseases, sexually transmitted infections, and hospital acquired infections.

About Enterprise Ireland
Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. We work in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment.

About EU Support
For more information on EU support for research on coronavirus:

For further information, please contact:
Dr Gary Keating, CTO
Email: gary.keating@hibergene.com
Tel + 353 1 905 3160