News release

Date: 14th September 2020

DnaNudge’s Rapid COVID-19 Test Supports London Symphony Orchestra’s Return To Live Performance

Pioneering CovidNudge Lab-Free Test Enabling LSO To Safely Rehearse And Perform, Supporting Major International Orchestra’s Live Programme Relaunch

London, United Kingdom, September 14th 2020 – DnaNudge, developer of the pioneering rapid, lab-free CovidNudge test, is pleased to announce a special partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra – delivering regular COVID-19 testing to the orchestra’s 120 musicians and enabling London’s oldest symphony orchestra to make a much-welcomed return to live performance. DnaNudge is performing the testing – which delivers results in just over an hour – exclusively for the LSO as sponsors, to help support the UK arts and cultural sector’s safe re-opening and return to work.

The entire orchestra completed CovidNudge testing prior to beginning its first group rehearsal sessions at LSO St Luke’s, held in preparation for the LSO’s 2020 BBC Prom concert broadcast live on August 30th 2020. Regular testing will continue for the rest of the year to support the LSO’s ambitious and innovative programme of events announced for the Autumn season. The season will include full orchestral concerts streamed online from the LSO St Luke’s performance venue. The LSO will also be performing a series of BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime and Rush Hour chamber concerts, plus LSO Discovery Friday Lunchtime Concerts with small, socially-distanced audiences. The LSO Discovery Friday Lunchtime Concerts will be streamed live on YouTube.

The London Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director Sir Simon Rattle commented: “Music’s ability to connect and inspire people has never been more needed, so it has been so truly wonderful for the orchestra to be able to gather together again – an experience that has been so much missed by our musicians and by our audiences. We are hugely excited about our remarkable upcoming programme, and we are immensely thankful to Professor Toumazou and the entire DnaNudge team for their part in getting this world-class orchestra back where it belongs – sharing the transformative power of incredible music.”

LSO Managing Director Kathryn McDowell CBE added: “DnaNudge has been absolutely instrumental in our successful return to rehearsals and live performance, and we are thrilled to have been able to relaunch a programme of live performances for our audience. The testing provided so generously by DnaNudge is a key part of our overall safety measures that we have put in place to give our talented musicians, dedicated staff and valued audiences the reassurance and confidence to securely assemble once more. We are enormously grateful to Professor Toumazou and his team for their support, and for enabling us to deliver our programme of extraordinary music to as wide an audience as possible.”

Professor Toumazou and his team were last month honoured with The Royal Academy of Engineering President's Special Award for Pandemic Service in recognition of the DnaNudge team’s exceptional achievement in developing the CovidNudge RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test, which delivers accurate results in just over an hour, without the need for a laboratory, via both nasal and saliva swab samples. Working with DHSC, and with the authorisation of the MHRA, DnaNudge validated its adapted technology in April and began an initial deployment of the CovidNudge test in eight London hospitals – including cancer wards, A&E and maternity departments. The test, which is authorised for clinical use by the MHRA and is CE-marked, is now being rolled out UK-wide by the Department of Health and Social Care in NHS urgent patient care and elective surgery settings, plus out-of-hospital locations.

The transformative test is adapted from DnaNudge’s in-store consumer DNA testing service, and also offers the capability to test for FluA, FluB and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – a crucial capability ahead of the winter flu season. The CovidNudge test ensures optimal accuracy by eliminating “false negative” results via a unique control that tests for inadequate swabbing.

Commenting on DnaNudge’s support for the LSO, Professor Chris Toumazou FRS, FREng, FMedSci, CEO and co-founder of DnaNudge and founder of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London said: “The UK arts industry across the board has been severely challenged by COVID-19, and it’s been a great sadness to so many people to see our much-loved orchestras fall silent as we deal with this unprecedented pandemic. The DnaNudge team was keen to help the LSO – one of this country’s greatest cultural institutions – get back to making music again, and we are extremely proud that our CovidNudge test is supporting the return of live orchestral music that provides so much joy to people from all walks of life, all around the world.”

For more information about the CovidNudge test, please visit:


About DnaNudge (

DnaNudge is the world’s first service to use consumers’ own DNA plus lifestyle to nudge us towards healthier choices each time we shop.

Following a quick and simple DNA test at DnaNudge’s flagship store in London’s Covent Garden, users can start using their wrist-worn DnaBand to scan product barcodes and discover whether a food product is “red” or “green” for them. If the product is indicated as “green”, it’s good to go. If the product is “red”, the DnaNudge App will display a range of personalised recommended alternatives generated by DnaNudge’s science-led analytics based on world-class research. The DnaBand also incorporates a physical inactivity monitor, enabling the App to adapt its recommended product choices based on inactivity levels, helping to keep DNA healthy. With NudgeMatch, users can even tap DnaBands with friends and see which DNA traits they have in common.

Everyday, small product swaps can lead to big, positive changes to health over the long term. No more impossible diets or best intentions – just realistic, actionable, personal DNA and lifestyle-based recommendations when shopping.

About the London Symphony Orchestra (

The London Symphony Orchestra was established in 1904 and has a unique ethos. As a musical collective, it is built on artistic ownership and partnership. With an inimitable signature sound, the LSO’s mission is to bring the greatest music to the greatest number of people. The LSO has been the only Resident Orchestra at the Barbican Centre in the City of London since it opened in 1982, giving 70 symphonic concerts there every year. The Orchestra works with a family of artists that includes some of the world’s greatest conductors – Sir Simon Rattle as Music Director, Principal Guest Conductors Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth, and Michael Tilson Thomas as Conductor Laureate. It is a pioneer of music education, offering musical experiences through LSO Discovery to 60,000 people every year at its music education centre LSO St Luke’s on Old Street, across East London and further afield. The LSO is a close partner of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama ensuring students there build strong links with the profession before they graduate. Opportunities include the Guildhall Artist Masters programme in Orchestral Artistry, delivered jointly with the LSO, and a platform at free early evening recitals before selected LSO Barbican concerts. With the formation of its own record label LSO Live in 1999 the LSO pioneered a revolution in recording live orchestral music. The LSO strives to embrace new digital technologies – having successfully moved into digital film, Blu-Ray Audio, downloads, streaming and virtual reality – and it continues to innovate with platforms such as LSO Play, a web-based video player that allows people to observe the Orchestra from different angles. The LSO is a highly successful creative enterprise, with 80% of all funding self-generated.

Nicky Denovan
EvokedSet PR
Email: nicky[at]evokedset[dot]com
Mobile: +44 (0) 118 328 2782

Chris Millard
Head of Press & External Affairs
Email: chris[dot]millard[at]lso[dot]co[dot]uk
Mobile: +44 20 7382 2550

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