The ImmuSAFE COVID+ biochip test will be used as one of the tests to verify the efficacy of the various vaccines used in Malaysia, in line with its goal to achieve herd immunity from COVID-19 under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Plan.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced today that the immune response tests related with COVID-19 vaccines will be done using the ImmuSAFE biochip technology, jointly developed between Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii), Sengenics and the Institute for Medical Research (IMR).

ImmuSAFE is the world’s first lab-based, multi-antigen and multi-domain COVID-19 serology test (examination of blood serum) comprising of 9 functionally validated domains or regions of the Nucleocapsid (N) and Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 expressed using Sengenics’ KREX protein folding technology.

The test is fully quantitative, enabling high-throughput screening of COVID-19 samples for diagnosis of current or prior infection, as well as for quantitation and localisation of antibody binding, thereby providing a means to identify antibody correlates of ongoing protection and development of durable immunity against future SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The ImmuSAFE test allows quantitative testing of the prevalence of protective antibodies against COVID-19, developed by the body’s immune system, either through vaccination or natural development from an infection. This means that ImmuSAFE provides a measurable verification method to verify effectiveness of any immunisation roll out, regardless of the type of vaccine.

The ImmuSAFE test has a sensitivity and specificity of 100% – and has been validated by the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), the biomedical research arm of MOH.

This makes it an ideal platform for verifying the ability of vaccines to effectively immunise a population, as well as other applications in COVID-19 seroprevalence studies.

At the same event, MARii also announced that it is working with the health ministry on a longitudinal study on the antibodies in patients that have recovered from COVID-19, or were asymptomatic despite becoming COVID-19 positive.

This longitudinal study will involve observation and quantitative testing over a period of time to determine the ability of individuals to retain protective antibodies in their immune system.

ImmuSAFE can be used to identify individuals who have various titres of potentially neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

The data and results of the study would provide a better understanding of immunization patterns and health management in the future.