BIVDA comments on Roche COVID-19 antibody test authorisation

Image of a medical professional in PPE with medical equipment to show BIVDA comments on Roche COVID-19 antibody test authorisation in England

The British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) has commented on the Roche COVID-19 antibody test authorisation by Public Health England.

BIVDA is delighted to see that an in vitro diagnostic (IVD) is again making headlines as testing continues to underpin the fight against the Coronavirus. The Roche test, which detects antibodies to the virus and could therefore indicate which people have previously been infected, is the latest to achieve CE marking but the first to have been evaluated by Public Health England, with a number of other companies who have had CE marked kits available for a longer period still undergoing evaluation.

The IVD industry has been working flat out over the past few months to develop and manufacture tests and reagents for healthcare systems around the world. Initially this was focused on tests to detect actively infected individuals mostly using PCR technology from swab samples. The focus has now moved to laboratory based tests for antibody in blood, while companies are also continuing to refine and improve the lateral flow technology which would allow for antibody testing from a finger prick of blood.

In April, Roche has announced the development and upcoming launch of its new COVID-19 antibody test.

Commenting on the progress made so far, BIVDA Chief Executive Doris-Ann Williams said: “The Government are in the process of revising their testing strategy to cover the next 9 to 12 months and the IVD industry will continue to support in any way possible but there are questions within the BIVDA membership over apparent pre-selection of laboratory antibody tests from a small number of companies when others with CE marked tests have not been selected for evaluation by Public Health England.”

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