Abbott Labs $ 5 rapid test may be a game-changer in Covid testing

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The test is a game-changer, according to Brett Giroir, the US Assistant Secretary of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Investors certainly think so: Abbott’s (ABBOTT) the stock was up about 8% Thursday morning.

The FDA’s emergency use clearance is for Abbott’s BinaxNOW Covid-19 Ag card. About the size of a credit card, BinaxNOW will cost $ 5 and come with a free mobile app that will allow people who test negative to display a temporary, dated health pass that is renewed each time they are tested. a new test is passed.

The antigen test, in which involves a nasal swab, uses the same type of technology as a flu test. Abbott says it plans to produce 50 million BinaxNOW tests per month by October.

“The massive scale of this test and application will provide tens of millions of people with access to rapid and reliable tests,” Joseph Petrosino, professor of virology at Baylor College of Medicine, said in a released statement. by Abbott.Petrosino Laboratories have led efforts to provide Covid-19 testing for the college and Harris County, which includes Houston.

“With the lab tests you get great sensitivity, but you may have to wait days or more for the results. With a rapid antigen test, you get a result immediately, allowing infected people to get off the streets and quarantine them so they don’t “spread the virus,” he says.

The BinaxNOW Covid-19 Ag Card is the fourth antigen test to receive emergency use clearance from the FDA.

Antigen tests, which look for chunks of the virus, are not as reliable as traditional polymerase chain reaction tests, which look for the genetic material of the virus. However, they are faster, cheaper and less invasive. PCR testing has been beset by supply chain issues as well as backups in labs that have delayed results and frustrated patients, doctors and public health experts.

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