Abbott just launched a new coronavirus antibody test that can test if you’ve ever had coronavirus, could test up to 20 million screenings in June
Abbott Laboratories announced today the launch of a new coronavirus antibody test that can test if you’ve ever had coronavirus. According to the company, the test could be screening 20 million people for antibodies for Covid-19 by June. The new antibody test adds to Abbott’s existing COVID-19 tests that are already being used, including its m2000™ molecular laboratory system and its ID NOW™ molecular point-of-care device.
The pharmaceutical giant said it plans to distribute 4 million of the new antibody tests by the end of this month, after an initial shipment of 1 million tests this week to US customers, beginning Thursday. “Antibody testing is an important next step to tell if someone has been previously infected,” Abbott said.
“Antibody testing is an important next step to tell if someone has been previously infected,” the company said in a press release. “It will provide more understanding of the virus, including how long antibodies stay in the body and if they provide immunity,” the company said.
On April 2, the FDA approves first antibody blood test in the U.S. to detect coronavirus, the test might exempt you from social distancing—if you pass and potentially get people back to work. Infectious disease experts have said that such antibody screenings, also called serological tests, will be needed to track the spread of the coronavirus in the United States and elsewhere, and to develop containment strategies.
Abbott is significantly scaling up its manufacturing for antibody testing and is expecting to immediately ship close to 1 million tests this week to U.S. customers, and will ship a total of 4 million tests in total for April. The company is ramping up to 20 million tests in the U.S. in June and beyond as it expands the tests to run on its new Alinity™ i system. Abbott also will be expanding its laboratory antibody testing to the detection of the antibody, IgM, in the near future.
“We continue to contribute in a significant and meaningful way by providing new solutions across our diagnostics testing platforms,” said Robert B. Ford, president and chief executive officer, Abbott. “I’m extremely proud of the many Abbott people who are working around the clock to get as many tests as we can to healthcare workers and patients.” While molecular testing detects whether someone has the virus, antibody tests determine if someone was previously infected.
Abbott’s SARS-CoV-2 IgG test identifies the IgG antibody, which is a protein that the body produces in the late stages of infection and may remain for up to months and possibly years after a person has recovered. Abbott’s IgG antibody test will initially be available on its ARCHITECT® i1000SR and i2000SR laboratory instruments*. More than 2,000 of these instruments are in use in U.S. laboratories.