Age Labs’ COVID-19 severity test being validated at Fürst, Norway’s largest medical laboratory

August 8, 2022

Age Labs has developed a COVID-19 severity test (CST) that identifies patients at increased risk for fatal COVID-19 as early as 1 to 4 days after the first signs of disease.

The CST is a blood-based test that employs a machine learning algorithm to find patients at increased risk. The algorithm identifies patterns in the immune system that are predictive of a severe disease course, and is able to classify patients as either mild, moderate or severe disease.

The test has previously been validated in a Norwegian multicentre study that included 371 patients. The study showed that 1-month mortality was increased 10 times in patients classified as having severe disease. Patients classified as having severe disease were also more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) and experience long-COVID symptoms.

A PCR version of the CST has been developed and is currently undergoing final validation at Fürst Medical Laboratory AS (Fürst), Norway's largest commercial medical laboratory. The CST can be run on most PCR machines used in clinical practice, requires 0.2 mL of whole blood, and returns test results in <8 hours.

The test is intended to be used by medical doctors to assess risk of severe COVID-19, and the test results should be used together with other clinical and laboratory information to help identify patients at increased risk for developing severe or fatal disease, and guide treatment.

The CST was developed using Age Labs’ proprietary biomarker discovery platform EPIPHANY. The classification algorithm, based on data from blood-DNA methylation profiles, was trained in two cohorts from the EU and US, then validated in a fully independent Norwegian cohort. Age Labs has filed a patent for CST with the European Patent Office.

This novel test came out of the PREDCOV project, a research collaboration involving Bærum Sykehus, Oslo University Hospital, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and several international research groups. PREDCOV was in part funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

Pilot testing with hospitals will start once the CST has been installed and validated at Fürst.

About Age Labs AS

Age Labs is a life science company that discovers, develops and commercializes diagnostic tests for the early detection of age-related diseases. EPIPHANY is the company’s platform for discovery novel, epigenetics-based biomarkers, backed by a curated database of >40k epigenetic profiles, with up to 40 years of follow-up. The company’s pipeline includes a test for early detection of rheumatoid arthritis, a biological age predictor and a test predicting the severity of COVID-19 infection. Collaboration partners include Merck Group, Fürst Medical Laboratory, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Diakonhjemmet Hospital and Oslo University Hospital. The company enjoys the support of investors such as Skyfall Ventures, Aleap and StartupLab.