Duke-NUS Covid-19 Test Kit Takes Only 1 Hour To Detect Past Infections In Patients

Singapore has been at the forefront of research and innovation in Covid-19 with our state-of-the-art test kits that are constantly being improved upon.

Duke-NUS medical school, GenScript biotechnology company and Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) announced that they have come up with a newer, even faster test kit, that produces results in just 1 hour.

Duke-NUS Covid Test KitImage courtesy of Genscript Biotech Corporation 

This is a breakthrough, as most other serological test kits take several days to produce results.

New Covid-19 test kit produces results in 1 hour

The test kit – called cPass – does not require samples to be sent to a laboratory.


It’s the first of its kind that can detect functional naturally occurring anitibodies (NAbs) without laboratory procedures, making it suitable for use in both hospitals and research.

It was announced in a virtual press conference on Friday (May 15) by the medical school, biotechnology company GenScript Biotech Corporation and Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).

cPass tests vaccines & used for contact tracing too

The cPass test kit isn’t useful only for its speed. The Straits Times (ST) reports that it can be used to test the efficacy of vaccines and is used for contact tracing too.


The kit will also help healthcare workers better determine it is safe for a recovered patient to return to work.

How cPass works is that it would detect antibodies created by the human body to battle Covid-19 through blood samples.

Even if a person has recovered from the infection, these useful antibodies can still be found in the body.

Similar test successfully found links between 2 virus clusters

According to TODAY Online, a test similar to cPass helped contact tracers find links between 2 clusters — Grace Assembly of God, and Life Church & Missions Singapore.

This was possible even when the people who were tested wasn’t showing any symptoms at the time.

To be used in Singapore hospitals first

The first batch of cPass test kits is currently available in Singapore hospitals, according to TODAY Online.

Diagnostics Development (DxD) Hub at A*STAR’s will be producing them, but plans for more local biotech companies to produce them are underway.

A game-changer in Covid-19 battle

Seeing as the cPass test kit is fast and multi-functional, contributing to both testing and contact tracing efforts, it has been dubbed as a “game changer” in the Covid-19 battle.

We certainly hope that this new detection method bears fruits, and brings us closer to winning the much-longer-than-expected war against this pandemic.

Featured image courtesy of Genscript Biotech Corporation.