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Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

Kantaro Biosciences created as joint COVID-19 test effort between Mount Sinai Health System, Renalytix

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Mount Sinai Health System and Renalytix AI have formed Kantaro Biosciences, LLC, as a means of developing, producing, and distributing a COVID-19 testing kit based on Mount Sinai’s high-performance serologic assay for antibodies.

The test kits hunt for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and are usable in any authorized clinical testing lab without any proprietary equipment needed. To produce it, Kantaro will partner with Bio-Techne Corporation. Their goal is to produce more than 10 million patient tests per month by July.

“Antibody testing will be critical to providing patients and governments the essential information they need to help the world economies reopen and begin to recover from COVID-19,” Dr. Florian Krammer, professor of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine, said. “With the launch of Kantaro, we look forward to bringing a kit based on our highly specific and sensitive test to every corner of the globe.”

Krammer was one of the minds behind the serological assay. That test has already been proven on more than 30,000 patient samples. Kantaro’s trial will be an evolution of this test, designed to measure the presence or absence of anti-COVID-19 antibodies in addition to the level of antibodies produced by a given person. It will use two virus antigens, the full-length spike protein, and its receptor binding domain. While Mount Sinai has been operating on an Emergency Use Authorization for clinical testing, Kantaro intends to seek another for its test kit.

“We believe that this technology has the potential for providing insight into immunity, and we’re working intensely to develop a quantitative version,” Dr. Carlos Cordon-Cardo, Irene Heinz Given and John LaPorte Given Professor and Chair of Pathology, Molecular and Cell-Based Medicine at Mount Sinai, said. “We expect that future findings will be critical to vaccine development and the development of advanced therapeutics.”