Pattern Computer,® Inc. (PCI) has developed a novel test for near real-time (15 sec) diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infections. In contrast with widely used antibody and PCR tests, which take at least 15 minutes to produce results, and require scarce reagents to process, the newly developed PCI method enables high-volume throughput of tests without requiring chemical reagents at difficult to service locations, such as company entrances, event venues, court houses, state and federal facilities, TSA screening areas and ports of entry.
“Having a simple, fast, easy to administer, high accuracy COVID-19 test will be critical for TSA and the airline carriers to increase passenger safety and confidence, as carriers deal with rising passenger loads and increased health security requirements,” said Bob Edwards, former CIO for United Airlines. “Pattern Computer’s new system appears to meet that need.”
Developed using the Pattern Discovery Engine™ (PDE) comprised of proprietary software methods and specially configured hardware, the initial results suggest this low-cost, high-volume COVID-19 test could create new opportunities for reducing transmission risk in high-headcount, high-density entertainment venues, large-scale events, office buildings, trains, busses, aircraft, and subways.
“As the world enters the next cycles of COVID lockdowns and flareups, there will be a pressing need for the companion technology to vaccines – the ability to detect true positive infections, and simultaneously reduce the incidence of false positives, coupled with higher reliability rates, delivered in real time. These are the required characteristics of a regimen of testing that will enable better containment of future outbreaks. The Pattern Computer team was able to apply the proven abilities of the Pattern Discovery Engine to take on this daunting challenge. We wanted to create a high-performance, extremely accurate, reagent-free, real-time alternative for testing in the world’s most important venues. This combination of proprietary hardware and software appears capable of meeting that critical need,” according to Mark R. Anderson, CEO of Pattern Computer.
Pattern Computer’s new test has been used to analyze data from symptomatic and asymptomatic patients between 10 and 80 years old. The reported balanced accuracy of the new test is >96%. The aspects of the testing that are worth noting: the Pattern team has been working on the problem for a few months, and is working with a dataset that numbers in the hundreds of data points. Competing organizations and teams have been working on the same problem for over a year with millions of data points, to only deliver tests that are 97% accurate.
The results from the Pattern tests are competitive with the performance of antibody tests currently in the market, which under ideal conditions (3 weeks after onset of symptoms) reports a balanced accuracy of 95%. In contrast to antibody tests, which are highly sensitive to timing--only 30% of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 tests positive 1 week after the onset of symptoms--the performance of PCI diagnosis is agnostic regarding how long the patient has been symptomatic.
Pattern Computer has rapidly developed a reagent free SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic platform with an impressive level of accuracy. This technology has the potential to alter the landscape of disease diagnostics. Currently, they are focused on COVID-19, but their approach is applicable, in principle, to any disease. I suspect that, in the new future, as we walk through TSA security at an airport, part of the screen will be for infectious diseases. The implications of this technology for public safety and health, especially disease surveillance, are enormous,” said
J. Ben Brown, Professor, UC Berkeley & Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
PCI has built an initial model that predicts COVID-19 status (as determined by multi-target RT-PCR) of a patient based on its proprietary hardware measurements. Sensitivity and specificity are computed with 5-fold cross-validation.
PCI expects that as more data points are added to the PCI data base, particularly data from non-infected individuals, its technology will be able to match or exceed RT-PCR for accurate SARS-CoV-2 infection detection, with the reduced result time of 20 seconds rather than the current standard wait time of 30 minutes or more.
The foregoing contains statements about the Pattern Computer’s future that are not statements of historical fact. These statements are “forward-looking statements” for purposes of applicable securities laws and are based on current information and/or management's good faith belief as to future events. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “should,” “could,” “will,” and similar expressions signify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve inherent risk and uncertainties, which change over time, and actual performance could differ materially from that anticipated by any forward-looking statements. Pattern Computer undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement.