Biotech Company Announces Rapid Portable COVID-19 Test

Biotech company Qiagen says it has created a rapid portable COVID-19 test that can detect the virus in people with active infections in less than 15 minutes.

The Netherlands-based company, a provider of sample and assay technologies for molecular diagnostics, applied testing, academic and pharmaceutical research, says the test will also be able to process about 30 swab samples every hour.

If granted emergency use authorization from the FDA, the Access Antigen Test could be used in high-volume settings, including airports and stadiums.

“The portable test offers a new combination of speed and scale that marks an important step towards decentralized mass testing that health authorities all over the world have been urgently seeking,” the company said in a release.

Qiagen says the test can correctly diagnose a positive result 90% of the time and correctly diagnose a negative result 100% of the time.

“The Access Antigen Test is fast, easy to use and cost-effective and will be a valuable tool to address the so far unmet high-volume testing needs for SARS-CoV-2 antigens in situations where time is of the essence,” Qiagen CEO Thierry Bernard said in a statement. “It will deliver highly accurate results and will complement the gold-standard PCR tests used for detection of active COVID-19 infection. PCR tests offer a high level of diagnostic accuracy but are time-consuming and lab-bound.”

The test must be waived from the requirements under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments.

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