UAE-Israel Project to Develop COVID-19 Screening Test

DUBAI (Reuters) -
A health care worker holding COVID-19 test samples at a mobile testing station in Ramla, Israel. (Yossi Aloni/FLASH90)

Abu Dhabi’s G42 Healthcare has signed a preliminary agreement with Israel’s NanoScent to develop, distribute, and manufacture a test that detects COVID-19 from exhaled air, UAE state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) is the latest in a series of deals between Emirati and Israeli companies to tackle the pandemic, something the two countries said was a priority in a joint statement last Thursday when announcing a normalizing of diplomatic relations.

The test, called Scent Check, will provide results in 30 to 60 seconds, WAM said, adding G42 will undergo thousands of tests for the device in coming weeks.

“The non-invasiveness and the rapidity of results give Scent Check the potential to transform the diagnostics industry globally,” WAM said. The device captures exhaled air, and analyses the “volatile organic compounds” present using machine learning, the statement said.

Last weekend, the Emirati APEX National Investment company signed a “strategic commercial agreement” with Israel’s Tera Group to cooperate on coronavirus-related research and development, including a testing device.

Israel’s Pluristem said on Monday it would partner with Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC) to develop therapies for diseases including COVID-19.