VXD002 is Viravaxx’s unique diagnostic test for antibody responses in patients with rhinovirus infection and has the potential to become the first “blood test” for the common cold virus worldwide. Currently under development, the test is aimed at the research market.
A serological rhinovirus test will help clinical researchers to better understand the clinical relevance of productive rhinovirus infection (serotypes RV-A, RV-B or RV-C) in patients with serious lung disease. It has already been demonstrated that the natural immune response to rhinovirus is misdirected to parts of the virus which do not block its infectivity. That is one reason why children and adults can catch multiple “colds” each and every year. A serological rhinovirus test such as VXD002 will also highlight the most clinically relevant rhinovirus strains in circulation, further supporting development of rhinovirus vaccines by Viravaxx.
Drawbacks of currently marketed rhinovirus diagnostics (PCR-based tests) include the requirement for careful clinical sample collection, transport at -20°C and skillful RNA extraction. Furthermore, they only provide proof that a rhinovirus genome was present in a sample, a fact that does not always correlate with a productive, recent rhinovirus infection. By contrast, VXD002 only requires a very small blood sample to be stored/shipped at 4°C and no template extraction step. Via identifying the nature of antibodies against rhinovirus, the test will further show whether the patient has recently suffered from a productive rhinovirus infection.
Development of initial prototypes of VXD002 has been funded by the PreDicta EU FP7 consortium, in collaboration with the Medical University of Vienna and Biomay AG. Viravaxx will advance the initial prototypes into final products tested and validated for use in the research market. Future potential CE mark certification for the larger In Vitro Diagnostics (CE-IVD) market is envisaged to further expand the market opportunity for the VXD002 test.