6th October 2020
The UK Government has entered into a contract with Abingdon Health, on behalf of the UK-Rapid Test Consortium (“UK-RTC”), for the supply of the AbC-19TM Rapid Antibody tests. As part of the contract the UK Government has placed its first order for one million COVID-19 rapid antibody tests.
This follows an independent evaluation commissioned by the UK government of the AbC-19TM Rapid Antibody test, which will be published in full in due course by PHE, after peer review.
The “AbC-19TM Rapid Test”, uses a small drop of blood from a finger-prick, and shows results in 20 minutes, without the need to go to a specialised laboratory.
The test can be administered by healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare workers, at the point-of-care. It has already received the “CE mark”, which indicates health and safety conformity for goods sold in the UK and EU.
The test will make it possible to build a swift and clear picture of how the virus has spread throughout the UK population.
It will also be able to help establish the effectiveness of any vaccine which provides protection by creating new antibodies. This information will be critical to managing current and future outbreaks of COVID-19.
Mass production is already under way. The antibody test will be rolled out under the government’s COVID-19 surveillance studies to help build a picture of how the virus has spread across the country. Surveillance studies are vital to develop our understanding of how antibodies work.
The UK Government helped to set up the UK Rapid Test Consortium and invested in the development of the tests.
Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “This home antibody test developed by our outstanding British scientists and researchers at the UK Rapid Test Consortium will provide critical insight into how the infection has spread, growing our understanding of coronavirus so that we can better respond to it.”
The test detects IgG antibodies to “full trimeric spike proteins” of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This means the test detects those antibodies which interfere with the virus’s ability to enter the human cells.
An extensive validation study performed by Ulster University involving over 1000 participant blood samples is currently under peer review for publication.
Notes to editors
Response to media (November 2020): click here
About the UK-RTC
The UK-Rapid Test Consortium was set up by Abingdon Health to bring together scientists and medical technology manufacturers to be able to deliver millions of test kits as quickly as possible. By working together, some of the UK’s leading medical technology companies will deliver more volume more quickly to help fight Covid-19.
The UK Government supported the setup of the UK Rapid Testing Consortium and invested in the development of the rapid antibody tests.