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MARii Collaborates with Sengenics to Enable Data Driven Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic
October 2, 2020 News


The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) and Sengenics Sdn. Bhd. launched the ImmuSAFE COVID+ biochip, at MARii’s headquarters in Cyberjaya.

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 N and 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. This makes it an ideal platform for applications in both COVID-19 seroprevalence studies and vaccine clinical trials.

Present at the announcement was Dato’ Madani Sahari, MARii CEO and Dr Arif Anwar, Sengenics Sdn. Bhd. CEO.

The ImmuSAFE test has a sensitivity and specificity of 100% – and has been validated by the Institute of Medical Research (IMR), an agency under the Ministry of Health (MOH). The test results can be obtained in only a few hours based on tests conducted on 5,000 samples during the development of ImmuSAFE.

“Through MARii’s capabilities in big data management, telematics and data analytics, this collaboration with Sengenics’ accurate test capabilities open up possibilities for data-driven management of the COVID-19 pandemic – which is highly essential to balance health protection of Malaysians with the need to keep the economy sustainable”, said Dato’ Madani.

COVID-19 test centres can be set up in multiple existing facilities, offering numerous potential solutions for government agencies or businesses that rely on real-time knowledge of infections in individuals – such as aviation, logistics, tourism and industrial sectors.

Dr Arif Anwar, CEO of Sengenics said,” We are proud to be a part of this partnership with MARii and IMR and appreciate the support and technical expertise of both parties throughout the development and validation of the ImmuSAFE COVID+ biochip. Although Sengenics is mainly involved in autoantibody biomarker discovery, in response to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to contribute towards the global fight by leveraging our patented KREX protein array technology to produce a fully quantitative COVID biochip test.

We are delighted that the ImmuSAFE biochip has demonstrated perfect sensitivity and specificity, as well as being able to determine the position, and therefore the protective potential of antibodies following infection or vaccination. We look forward to the mass utilisation of the biochip test in national seroprevalence studies and vaccine clinical trials.”

Since its formation, MARii has developed numerous applied technologies for the automotive and connected mobility sector – technologies that also finds its place in a wider array of sectors, particularly in the area of digitalisation, big data management and analytics.

MARii has developed the ImmuSAFE Tracker, an application that has intelligent contact tracing capabilities based on MARii’s readily available big data analytics and artificial intelligence platforms. This application offers the capability to track the mobility and contact tracing information of individuals, as well as employee logs, supply chain information, SOP enforcement of businesses – all the forementioned in real-time.

On top of that, the application can be integrated with more advanced tracing technology such as facial recognition and geographic information systems (GIS) mapping. The big data analytics technology would enable predictive modelling and simulations of outbreak patterns from new infection clusters.

Dato’ Madani explained that the application is derived from MARii’s vast experience in platform development, including its leading role in the development of the COVID-19 Intelligent Management System (CIMS), the smart system used to track and register companies operating during the series of Movement Control Orders (MCO) placed by the government during the onset of the outbreak.

“The technology developed by MARii within the connected mobility sector has opened up opportunities for us to combat COVID-19 using technology. The launch of the ImmuSAFE Test Kit and ImmuSAFE Tracker presents a complete solution to quickly know, predict and understand infection patterns and the pandemic better”, he concluded.