Celltrion Group is set to scale up its diagnostic portfolio for Covid-19 as part of its efforts to enhance access to testing of the virus and contain its spread globally.

The company recently concluded the development of a point-of-care antigen testing (POCT) kit for Covid-19 in partnership with South Korean healthcare company BBB.

The portable and highly sensitive device is intended for the detection of early Covid-19 positive patients in clinical settings. To enable fast and accurate results, the kit uses lab-on-a-chip technology, consisting of a microfluidic electrochemical biosensor.

It has been designed to show results in 15-20 minutes and has shown 95% sensitivity.

Celltrion expects to obtain CE mark approval for the POCT test kit in Europe later this month, ahead of its expected launch in July.

Meanwhile, the company has also signed a distribution agreement with South Korean in-vitro diagnostic company Humasis to distribute and sell a rapid diagnostic test worldwide.

The Covid-19 rapid antibody diagnostic test (RDT) kit is said to be a cost-effective option for testing.

The companies will also collaborate for the development of an upgraded rapid antibody diagnostic test and a rapid antigen diagnostic test.

Celltrion will offer its proprietary Covid-19 antibody-antiviral technology to evaluate the sensitivity of these tests.

The company noted that it intends to leverage its advanced therapeutic technologies to expand the range of co-developed diagnostic devices beyond SARS-CoV-2 to a range of other infectious diseases, in partnership with Humasis.

Celltrion R&D Unit head Ki-Sung Kwon said: “We are keen to drive early diagnosis of Covid-19 through the availability of our testing portfolio.

“We have successfully built solid partnerships with local device companies that are prominent in the field of diagnostic testing. We are committed to providing flexibility for testing needs as the pandemic evolves and are using our expertise and past experience developing antibody treatments and targeting coronaviruses to fight this pandemic.”

Last month, Celltrion reported positive pre-clinical results for its antiviral antibody treatment.