Even as the world inches forward to achieving a fully vaccinated population against COVID-19, innovators are working hard to develop new technologies that diagnose and treat this awful virus. The disease continues to thrive in many parts of the world, and new variants are still a concern.

One such innovative company, for example, is Medivolve, which seeks out disruptive technologies and exclusive partnerships to develop technologies to help combat COVID-19. The company teamed with Marvel Diagnostics, the developer of the noninvasive exhaled breath diagnostic technology called BlowFISH. Medivolve announced its investment in Marvel Diagnostics in January 2021, providing up to $1 million in funding. BlowFISH has now successfully cleared the first milestone in a series of clinical tests targeting application of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from FDA to test for the COVID-19 virus.

During the clinical trial, BlowFISH’s proprietary technology, designed to efficiently collect a substantial liquid sampling directly from deep within the lungs, successfully detected the COVID-19 virus in three test samples. Developed by Marvel Diagnostics and funded by Medivolve, the technology offers the potential for a simple, inexpensive, noninvasive, massively deployable, rapid diagnostic system for detecting respiratory illness and airborne viral threats in approximately 10 minutes.

“This is an exciting and important milestone in advancing BlowFISH toward achieving EUA status in testing for COVID-19, and providing a noninvasive, cost-effective, and scalable testing alternative to nasal swab solutions currently in market,” says David Preiner, CEO of Medivolve. “Making testing more accessible to populations such as children and the elderly, where it may be difficult to administer a nasopharyngeal swab test, will become important in our transition to resuming daily life in the new normal. Data obtained from BlowFISH-powered testing will also further Medivolve’s mission to use innovation and artificial intelligence to close the loop in health management for every American.”

Marvel Diagnostics is partnering with a research team from Louisiana State University Health Shreveport (LSUSH) to conduct clinical trials. With the second phase of testing now in progress, BlowFISH is currently on the right track to seek EUA approval from FDA.

“BlowFISH’s detection of the COVID-19 virus brings us one significant step closer to changing the future of diagnostics for not only COVID-19, but for a wide range of respiratory illnesses,” says Dr. Pirouz Kavehpour, UCLA professor and Marvel Diagnostics co-founder. “We are moving forward with urgency through proof-of-concept clinical trials, as these studies are a critical next step in making respiratory testing more comfortable, convenient and accessible for all ... one breath at a time.”

Technologies like this are changing the future of the healthcare landscape, providing diagnosis faster and with more accuracy than ever before.

Sherrie Trigg

Editor and Director of Medical Content