Genetic Technologies updates on COVID-19 test

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Melbourne-based company Genetic Technologies (ASX:GTG) has updated on the development of its genetic test for the COVID-19 virus.

The company announced it has completed analysis of the early, available genomic and phenotypic data from 1,500 COVID-19 patients.

Based on this data, the company has developed a first 'proof of concept' analysis it says has confirmed that a prototype polygenic risk score successfully discriminated between those COVID-19 patients who required hospitalisation from those who did not.

It said the next stage in the product development process will be to confirm and improve upon the initial observations as more patient data becomes available.

On completion of that review of the additional patient data, which is anticipated over the next 30 days, the company said it intends to seek registration of the product as a new polygenic risk score (PRS) test to predict an individual’s risk of developing life-threatening complications should they become infected with COVID-19.

CEO of Genetic Technologies Dr George Muchnicki said, "We are now confident that a person's reaction to catching COVID-19 and their risk of hospitalisation is also affected by their genes rather than just their age. We have a strong model that will be the basis of a useful test, which can be used to stratify an individual's risk and may even assist in supporting natural herd immunity."

“As more data becomes available in the coming weeks, we plan to further strengthen the model,” added Dr Richard Allman, chief scientific officer of Genetic Technologies. “The results from the initial prototype analysis are very encouraging, and our team is now focused on rapidly executing ongoing development efforts that we hope will ultimately bring this much-needed test to market.”