Chronomics: from epigenetics to coronavirus testing

Chronomics: from epigenetics to coronavirus testing

At Chronomics, our core mission is to extend human healthspan (the time that we live free of disease) at planetary scale, to make the world a healthier and safer place to experience for everyone. We leverage the latest technologies to measure terabytes and terabytes of biological data and make this information actionable to our users. We started this revolution by pioneering the use of epigenetic biomarkers in the context of preventative healthcare, since this type of data is uniquely positioned to quantify how our lifestyle and environment can affect our risk of developing complex diseases. However, we have always been agnostic to the means to achieve our goal. Above all, we are scientists that want to democratise access to biological data in healthcare.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest socioeconomic challenge that humanity has faced since the Second World War. During these troubling times, societies, governments and organisations need to come together in order to respond against the common enemy: SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 disease). That is why we couldn’t stay watching while our frontline healthcare workers, our families and our friends couldn’t get access to COVID-19 testing during this healthcare crisis. In a herculean demonstration of start-up agility (less than a month!) and team effort, we were very excited to announce the launch of the Chronomics COVID-19 saliva testing kit.

Inspired by the protocol created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is widely used in hospitals around the world, our test is one of the world’s first spit tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA using the RT-PCR method. This test allows for the detection of COVID-19 infection even before symptoms appear, since it directly assesses for the presence of the virus in our body (as opposed to antibody tests, that measure whether an immune response against the virus is already present, which takes longer to appear).

The main innovations of the COVID-19 saliva testing kit include:

  • The saliva sample can be collected in a simple, non-invasive and painless manner, in striking contrast with the current state-of-the-art (nasopharyngeal swabs), while remaining equally (if not more) accurate. All the user needs to do is spit in a tube and wait to see their results online!
  • The sample can be collected from the comfort of your own home without the supervision of a healthcare professional. This is much more cost-effective and safe than going to the hospital and it protects our frontline healthcare workers.
  • It is amenable for population-level testing and it is possible to scale to millions of samples to support governments and organisations globally.

In the words of our CEO and co-founder Dr. Tom Stubbs: “Since the creation of Chronomics, we have become experts in the technical, educational and logistic aspects of saliva-based testing and we are now thrilled to transfer this knowledge to help in the fight against COVID-19”.

Dr. Daniel E. Martin-Herranz is the CSO and co-founder at Chronomics

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