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February 18, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Health Canada approves Roche’s SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test – Labcorp adds high sensitivity antigen test to screen active Covid-19 infection

By Chloe Kent

A SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test developed by Roche has been approved under an interim order by Health Canada. The test enables quicker decision making and rapid isolation by healthcare professionals, thereby reducing further spread of the virus and delivering results within just 15 minutes.

Labcorp has launched a new laboratory-based antigen test that will help doctors identify only active Covid-19 infections. The test is developed by DiaSorin, an Italian biotechnology company, and is available to patients via doctors’ order. Traditional PCR tests can sometimes signal positive in the weeks following Covid-19 infection when they detect inactive viral remnants in a person’s swab, meaning they could end up isolating unnecessarily. Labcorp’s test is designed to help determine whether individuals are actively infectious, to give a better idea of whether it is safe or not for them to resume work-life activities.

Everlywell, a digital health company, has announced that its COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit DTC is now authorised by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use and without a prescription. The test kit is available for asymptomatic individuals and those with no suspected exposure to the virus, both online and on the shelves of retailers, pharmacies, and organisations.

Molecular Designs has developed a new PCR test that it says can differentiate the Covid-19 UK variant without the need for viral genome sequencing. Assurance Scientific Laboratories is now validating the test for clinical use in the US with results expected to be available by the end of the month.

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