Asian Scientist Magazine (Sep. 12, 2022) — As Singapore stares down a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections driven by the Omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5—a dark horse looms in the form of subvariant BA.2.75, bringing with it a fresh set of unknowns.
Despite unfamiliar circumstances, vaccination is still key in the fight against COVID-19. However, available vaccines currently only target the original strain and may be less effective against new variants. Additionally, there remains uncertainty on the period of immunity after vaccination.
To assess immunity status post-vaccination, international biotech company, GenScript, developed the first SARS-CoV-2 serology test, cPass™, capable of detecting neutralizing antibodies. The tool was launched in early 2020 and is currently commercially available in 80 countries globally and 26 countries in Asia—including Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia among others.
“During the Omicron wave, cPass™ can adapt to measure neutralizing antibodies against new variants. Vaccine manufacturers can then upgrade to a 2nd generation vaccine against new variants or a 3rd generation pan-sarbecovirus vaccine,” explained Professor Wang Linfa, the infectious diseases expert from Duke-NUS Medical School and inventor of cPass™. “We are leveraging cPass™ technology in many epidemiology studies to achieve a scale that could not have been achieved using any traditional test platforms.”
Laboratory design and construction specialists, AcroMeta Group, are a prime example of the effectiveness of cPass™. To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on construction processes, AcroMeta management offered cPass™ to their staff in addition to existing government measures. With their cPass™ results providing an indication of their antibody levels and potential immunity, employees were able to make better decisions when it came to taking booster shots.
“I witnessed the success of cPass™,” shared Dr. Leong Hoe Nam, infectious disease specialist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. “It helped my patients make informed decisions on booster jabs. The Corporate cPass™ test can be adopted by companies to demystify COVID-19 and effectively return to the workplace”.
AcroMeta CEO, Mr. Lim Say Chin, and his employees received corporate cPass™ tests to ensure they could be at work—keeping employees safe and construction on time.
After testing, AcroMeta staff found that there was indeed a variation in neutralizing antibody levels among them. Individuals with a very low cPass™ test value could opt for an early booster shot once it was available to them. Similarly, employees with relatively low cPass™ test values had the option to work from home until they were eligible to receive booster shots. On the other hand, employees that tested and achieved high test values could confidently remain at work.
“cPass™ became our chosen weapon to mitigate construction delays,” shared Mr. Lim Say Chin, the CEO of AcroMeta. “It is also convenient and impressive that cPass™ is available in more than 2000 clinics island-wide.”
This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.