Nightingale to roll-out novel preventative solution for COVID-19 enabling safe returns to work post lockdowns – Research shows blood test predicts severity of COVID-19 before contracting the virus

Nightingale Health today announced the launch of a preventative screening solution for COVID-19. The solution is based on Nightingale’s blood test that detects the likelihood of a healthy person developing a severe COVID-19 infection before contracting the virus. This allows preventative targeted actions for the ones vulnerable to the virus, whilst the rest of the working population can continue keeping societies running. The announcement follows major research findings done by analysing over 100,000 samples from the world’s largest population study – the UK biobank.

Targeted prevention is the ultimate strategy to manage COVID-19. However, inability to detect individuals who would need protection has pushed governments to order lockdowns for everyone, causing major damage to economies. Unlocking the power of targeted prevention requires detection of seemingly healthy individuals who are at risk, before they contract the virus. By detecting the ones with the highest risk, we can protect them, target our healthcare resources, keep our economies running and save lives.
 
Launching a screening tool for safe returns to work   

Following major scientific findings addressing the problem of identifying those at risk for severe COVID-19 before they get contracted, Nightingale Health is launching a new preventative screening solution based on its award-winning technology. The new blood test, rolling out in autumn 2020, will be specifically developed for healthy 50+ individuals to identify those at high risk of getting severe COVID-19.  

The company plans to first introduce this new preventative health tool among corporations and organisations. The aim is to offer a solution to identify employees who are tested to be more vulnerable and thus should continue to follow remote working with stricter social distancing precautions. The solution will be of immense value to businesses, and later on to governments, who are looking for taking preventative actions to protect the vulnerable ones while easing lockdowns and returning to work safely.

“We cannot afford to continue shutting down economies going forward. Rather, we need to enable people to return safely to work and Nightingale’s solution is one of the first to allow targeted prevention before contracting the virus. This is a timely preventative screening tool as it enables the detection of the ones needing special precautions to avoid COVID-19 infection, while allowing the majority to return to work and help get the economy back to normal despite the pandemic,” says Teemu Suna, Founder and CEO of Nightingale Health. 
 
Founded on the world’s largest metabolic profiling study 

The announcement of the new product follows recently published major scientific findings identifying novel blood biomarkers as risk markers for developing severe forms of COVID-19.  

In the world’s largest metabolic profiling study to date, Nightingale analysed over 100,000 blood samples of healthy people from the UK Biobank. In 2020, some of these people developed severe COVID-19 requiring hospitalisation. The study analysed this data and found a specific molecular signature to be more common among those seemingly healthy people who ended up in the hospital due to severe COVID-19. In other words, those with this molecular signature are 5-10 times more likely to be hospitalised if they get a severe infectious disease, enabling targeted preventative actions before contracting the virus.  

The blood biomarkers in the molecular signature have not been previously known as risk markers in healthy people for developing severe forms of COVID-19.

“The best way to detect those at high risk is by looking at a molecular signature of multiple biomarkers. It is striking that the risk identification works well even when focusing on a subset of biomarkers in Nightingale’s blood test that can be captured by self-collection through a finger prick blood sample. These novel findings provide a scalable solution for personalised prevention and population level screening, which can later also be used to prioritise vaccines for those who need it the most,” says Dr Peter Würtz, lead scientist of the study and Scientific Director of Nightingale Health.

Read the full study: 

Blood biomarker score identifies individuals at high risk for severe COVID-19 a decade prior to diagnosis: metabolic profiling of 105,000 adults in the UK Biobank