Swiss drug producer Roche aims by next month to offer blood tests to establish those who had been infected with the coronavirus, doubtlessly helping inform locked-down countries of who may need some immunity and have the ability to resume work or contact with the general public.
The Basel-based mostly firm mentioned on Friday it needs to make the antibody test accessible by early May in nations that accept European CE regulatory approvals and is seeking U.S. FDA emergency authorization for its use in the U.S.
It plans by June to boost test manufacturing to high double-digit thousands per month, mentioned Thomas Schinecker, Roche’s diagnostics head.
Roche enters a global race in which U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories and Becton Dickinson and Co, Italy’s DiaSorin, and others hope to sell tests that reveal people’s immune programs have developed antibodies in response to the novel coronavirus.
While it isn’t yet identified for sure if those who have been infected develop immunity to the new virus as with many other diseases, accurate antibody tests are seen as essential to help nations craft strategies to end business and travel closures that have battered economies across the globe.
Roche’s test, which differs from the PCR assays it makes that use a nose swab to identify active infections, will run on over 40,000 of its Cobas e-testing machines installed worldwide.