PRESS RELEASE | Oceanit selected as a semi-finalist for the XPRIZE Rapid Covid Testing competition
Oceanit’s ASSURE-19 Covid-19 test was selected as a semi-finalist from a pool of nearly 700 teams from around the world competing in the XPRIZE Rapid Covid Testing competition.
The XPRIZE Rapid Covid Testing competition is an initiative to develop frequent, fast, cheap and easy to use testing methods at scale. The goal is simple: remove delays, lack of supplies, and post-infectious results from the equation by creating rapid, frequent testing that allows for a safe reopening.
PCR tests remain our gold standard, but long waits and post-infectious phase positive results render them ineffective for stemming the spread. Like a pregnancy test that tells a woman she was pregnant in month 10, or a thermometer that reports a fever from three days ago, results delivered days after infectiousness miss the crucial point when viral load is the most contagious.
Launched on July 28, 2020, XPRIZE Rapid Covid Testing is a $5 million, 6-month competition that aims to increase Covid-19 testing capabilities 100-times past our current standard, the level of increase needed to more safely return to everyday activities. The XPRIZE Foundation is an international nonprofit formed in 1994 that has funded innovative competitions in the domain areas of Space, Oceans, Learning, Health, Energy, Environment, Transportation, Safety and Robotics.
The first XPRIZE was the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for private spaceflight, which spurred an entire new industry and created exponential launch vehicle and space travel breakthroughs. Just as XPRIZE stimulated the private space race, we see this Covid-19 XPRIZE as a way to stimulate evolution in medicine. We now realize that current medicine discovery has limitations, as we were all surprised by the Novel Coronavirus. We are at the beginning of a new medical technology frontier. These are the seeds that will create new industries and economic growth for decades to come.
Oceanit entered this XPRIZE competition because we too believe in the critical mission of affordable, regular testing: high-risk and already exposed persons should receive Covid-19 tests immediately and get results immediately.
All XPRIZE semi-finalists will perform blind proficiency testing on inactive virus samples using their various solutions. Oceanit’s ASSURE-19 tests will be graded based upon these blind tests and our performance will allow XPRIZE to name 20 finalists for a final round of independent lab testing exercises.
Meanwhile, Oceanit’s testing at The Queen’s Medical Center and with the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine continues, with great progress thus far. Our goal is to meet and surpass the 95% sensitivity and 95% sensitivity bars and capture enough data for FDA Emergency Use Authorization. Results have been very promising in both the in-vitro and in-vivo sampling that has been conducted to date.
XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, the $10 Million Rainforest XPRIZE, the $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE, the $5 Million IBM Watson AI XPRIZE, $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling, XPRIZE NextGen Mask Challenge and $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid COVID Testing. For more information, visit xprize.org.