Pictor and Rako Science bring improved access to COVID-19 antibody testing for New Zealand with technology from Tasso

November 16, 2022 12pm NZDT

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Pictor, a global leader in immunodiagnostics, today announced that its PictArray™ SARS-CoV-2 IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) antibody test will soon be available in New Zealand. Rako Science will utilize its national network by collecting blood samples with a device from Tasso, Inc., and undertake testing for COVID-19 antibodies.

“The ability to test for SP, NP and a combination of SP and NP allows us to understand an individual’s circulating antibodies”

Pictor’s COVID-19 antibody test is the first of its kind

The PictArray™ SARS-CoV-2 assay is the first test of its kind. It enables personalized COVID-19 assessments by detecting if a patient has antibodies from a previous infection of SARS-CoV-2 – from spike protein (SP) and nucleocapsid protein (NP) antibodies or from vaccination alone (SP antibodies only). It indicates whether at-risk patients have failed to mount a detectable antibody response despite vaccination or infection (SP and NP negative).

This innovation is designed to help guide personalized clinical interventions and inform broader public health measures. For example, there are a number of vulnerable New Zealanders who would benefit from the test because it would show if they had an immune response to COVID-19. In an effort to protect the entire New Zealand population as much as possible, Pictor has partnered with Rako Science and Tasso to improve accessibility.

“The ability to test for SP, NP and a combination of SP and NP allows us to understand an individual’s circulating antibodies,” said Pictor’s Chief Executive Officer Howard Moore. “That way, the patient and their doctor will know whether the patient should be immunized or boosted.”

Rako Science and Tasso together with Pictor make COVID-19 antibody testing a reality for all

Pictor partnered with Rako Science, an Auckland-based high-tech pathology company and U.S.-based Tasso, Inc., the leading provider of convenient, clinical-grade blood collection solutions. As a result of these partnerships, Pictor’s COVID-19 antibody test will be accessible via Tasso’s new Tasso+ in-clinic and remote blood collection device, with Rako Science providing access to the antibody test to New Zealanders and healthcare organizations labeled Test2Detect. Rako Science will initially offer supervised in-center testing from two locations in Auckland and Christchurch.

“We’re pleased to be supporting Kiwi innovation and assist Pictor taking this product to New Zealand and the world. This test plays to one of our core strengths which is rapid, translational science,” said Leon Grice of Rako Science.

“The Tasso device will change the landscape of diagnostic testing over the coming years. By making it very easy for blood collection to be performed at Rako Science collection centers, New Zealanders will soon have improved access to the blood testing they need,” said Dr. Erwin Berthier co-founder of Seattle-based Tasso. Dr. Berthier studied at Canterbury University’s School of Engineering in New Zealand and, hence, responded quickly to the request from Pictor to make the Tasso devices available in NZ.

“The Tasso device will significantly help general practitioners and healthcare professionals in providing greater access to blood tests, achieving more equitable health outcomes,” said Dr. Anna Brooks, a senior lecturer and director of Auckland Cytometry at the University of Auckland. Brooks is a clinical consultant to Pictor and has advised on the Tasso and Rako Science programme. “Our joint hope is to lower the risk of serious infection among New Zealanders.”

About Rako Science

Rako Science is a high-tech pathology company offering highly accurate saliva based rt-qPCR and antibody serology tests to workforces, Māori communities, traveling public and people needing to be sure of their COVID-19 status. Rako Science’s PCR saliva tests were diagnostically validated and accredited by IANZ in December 2020.

About Tasso

Tasso is an emerging healthcare technology company that is transforming the traditional blood collection paradigm with a patient-centric approach. The company’s devices enable simple, convenient, and virtually painless blood collection for users. Tasso technology has the power to bring healthcare anywhere, any time. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Tasso is privately held and funded by grants, investments, and co-development deals with various industry leaders. For more information, please visit www.tassoinc.com.

About Pictor

Pictor is an in vitro diagnostics company that offers a patented multiplexed platform for highly accurate and efficient testing of complex and infectious diseases for human and animal health. PictArray™ multiplexed technology makes it possible to test multiple disease markers in a single test simultaneously — with higher sensitivity, faster throughput, and reduced turn-around time. The company’s lead product, the PictArray™ SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA Kit, enables more informed clinical intervention to manage the threat of COVID-19. For more information, please visit http://pictordx.comhttps://www.linkedin.com/company/pictorltd and @PictorLtd on Twitter or Facebook.


Media Contact
Grant Zehnder
+1 440.714.7958

Pictor Business/Sales Contact
Howard Moore

Rako Science Media Contact
Tuvae Barlow