Canada funds development of COVID-19 ‘lab-in-a-box’

Canada funds development of COVID-19 'lab-in-a-box'

OTTAWA — Canadian researchers are developing a “lab-in-a-box” that could make it cheaper and faster to diagnose cases of the novel coronavirus, particularly in remote areas of the world.

The project received $1 million from the International Development Research Centre, as part of the $27 million in coronavirus research announced by the federal government Friday.

The technology, being worked on in Toronto by lead researcher Keith Pardee, aims to make it possible for people in remote areas to test for the virus very quickly.

He says the technology is already reliable in a lab setting and the grant money will go toward making it accessible so testing can be decentralized.

Once it’s finished, the lab-in-a-box could be repurposed to respond to other pandemics as well.

Four labs are working on different parts of the project, including teams in Vietnam and Brazil.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2020

The Canadian Press

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