EDMONTON -- An Edmonton company is gearing up to offer what it believes is the world’s fastest COVID-19 detection test, which would also eliminate the need for a nasal swab.

GLC Medical’s Insta-Test promises to deliver results in under 15 seconds using only saliva. The test doesn’t require equipment or a lab to process results; instead it produces a signal when exposed to COVID-19 viral antigens.

"When it is saturated with saliva, it will then be put back into its casing," explained GLC Medical CEO and president Donna Mandau in an interview on Thursday.

"That then sends a signal and when the surface changes of our graphene, looking for the protein of SARS, very simply it sends a signal to our base reader." 


GLC Medical was born to develop the privately funded test. Parent company Graphene Leaders Canada specializes in building technology using the mined mineral in its name. 

"When you take and separate the sheets of the graphite into very few layers or under 10 layers, you create a product or material called graphene. And graphene demonstrates some amazing properties at very few layers," Mandau said, telling CTV News Edmonton it is one million times thinner than a single human hair at one atom thick, one thousand times more conductive copper, and harder than diamond and stronger than steel. 

Graphene is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial. 


GLC Medical believes the test would be an ideal screening tool for airports, cruises or event venues given its simplicity and potential to produce fast results. It also requires no specialized equipment, only training the company would offer. 

Mandau said Edmonton International Airport will use the test -- currently being readied for clinical trials -- if it's approved. 

"This is very exciting and we're very pleased to be moving forward and hopefully getting to market," said the Alberta-born CEO. 

GLC Medical is also working on regulatory and safety data for Health Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and World Health Organization.

It’s not clear how long the clinical trials will take, or when the product could be available in Canada.