Xerum launched a home sampling kit for detecting antibodies back in March 2021. The tests have subsequently been used in two studies carried out by the Swedish Public Health Agency.
Next week the agency will conduct a new national study, the tenth of its kind, to measure how many of the population have Covid-19 and the presence of antibodies against the virus. Some 7,000 people aged 2-96 have been invited to participate in the study, which will be conducted between September 26th-29th. The study is being carried out in order to get an overall picture of the spread of infection in the country.
Xerum will send their antibody testing kits to participants, who will then take their own blood sample at home. Blood is collected by pricking a finger and placing it on a filter paper that uses qDBS (Dried Blood Spot) technology developed by Swedish company Capitainer AB. Xerum will conduct the study in collaboration with Direkttest Sverige AB, which will assist with the delivery of sampling kits and test results.
“We will then perform the antibody analysis at a laboratory in Umeå using the validated analysis method we previously developed in collaboration with Region Västerbotten. The combination of using home sampling and our sensitive analysis process is extremely suitable for large-scale studies”, says Xerum’s Julia Wigren Byström.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, residents of Västerbotten could order the home antibody test to see if they had contracted the virus.
Julia Wigren Byström continues: “We realized that this method of home sampling was particularly well suited to sparsely populated regions, as you do not need to travel to a health center to take a sample”.
Xerum further developed its test during the pandemic, which now provides a more quantitative analysis of the presence of antibody levels, e.g. in people living in nursing homes in Sweden thanks to a study conducted by Umeå University.
Xerum’s success has shown that small companies can go a long way with smart and effective solutions. The company, which performed and analyzed around 10,000 tests during the pandemic, receives business support from Umeå Biotech Incubator, and is now looking at developing new opportunities after the pandemic.
“Our focus right now is on developing new antibody tests where there is a longer-term need. We are looking at other areas that would be a good fit for our type of home sampling antibody test”, says Julia Wigren Byström.
Xerum AB is a spin-off company from the Department of Clinical Microbiology at Umeå University. The company was founded in 2020 by Associate Professor Mattias Forsell, Associate Professor Johan Normark, and Specialist Doctor of Infectious Diseases and Biomedical Analyst Julia Wigren Byström.
Xerum has developed a sensitive methodology for analyzing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in capillary blood and serum. Xerum performs antibody analyses and distributes self-sampling kits.
For further information, please contact:
Julia Wigren Byström
076-800 40 95