The FASTER trial: Diagnostics development for COVID-19

Project 17 Apr 2020

Facilitating A SARS CoV-2 TEst for Rapid triage (FASTER)

The FASTER diagnostics programme at the Centre for Drugs and Diagnostics will enrol patients suspected of COVID-19 for diagnostic evaluation.

We are working in partnership with industry that has developed a new rapid test to detect the presence of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Currently, the NHS uses the best test available to detect the virus using a nasal swab. The current test can take up to 4 days before the results are available which can lead to an extended amount of time in quarantine or a prolonged amount of time grouped with other patients that are suspected to have Coronavirus.

The new tests that we have available need to be validated against the current best practice. We need to use the tests with real samples to check if they are as accurate as the current test. If successful, this study may change practice and allow for early detection and appropriate isolation of patients.

In addition to this, we are working with Pfizer who have an existing vaccine which works against one cause of severe pneumonia but are working on a vaccine to prevent pneumonia specifically caused by COVID-19. The work funded by Pfizer will assess the immunologic response to COVID-19 and Pneumococcus and the relationship between the two.