Antigen tests are a relatively new type of test for COVID-19 that work by looking for proteins that can be found on or inside a virus.
The authorization was based on a robust sample size of 226 specimens from sites across the United States, said Vijay Kumar, Evercore ISI analyst, in a research note.
“We think the new antigen test will play an important role in the upcoming flu season as a rapid exclusion test,” said Kumar.
Becton Dickinson plans to produce 2 million tests per week by the end of September.
The FDA has presented rapid tests as an important tool in the fight against the pandemic because they can be produced quickly, at relatively low cost, and test patients in a variety of settings.
The regulator approved in May the first COVID-19 antibody test, performed by Quidel Corp (QDEL.O). [L1N2CR06Y]
The Becton Dickinson test can be used on its existing BD Veritor System platform, which is used in approximately 25,000 healthcare facilities in the United States.
Becton Dickinson sells a variety of other types of tests for COVID-19 and has stated that it is working to increase testing capacity for many of them.
“This will allow front-line healthcare workers and their patients to be game-changers so that they can access a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19, providing real-time results at convenient locations like retail pharmacies, emergency care centers and doctors’ offices, “said Dave Hickey, president of Becton Dickinson’s integrated diagnostic solutions business.
Report by Carl O’Donnell; Editing by Peter Cooney and Dan Grebler
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