New Covid-19 tests to be distributed in UK by Luas Diagnostics following exclusive agreement

Two new rapid antibody and antigen tests for Covid-19 from the US will be distributed in the UK and Ireland by Luas Diagnostics, following an exclusive agreement with New York-based Chembio Diagnostic Systems.

The antibody test uses a fingerstick to produce a result in 15 minutes and identifies if a patient has been infected and whether it is a current or past infection. The test is available now and is CE marked, meaning it is approved for professional use in the UK and EU.

Antibody testing is particularly important now that the introduction of vaccines is imminent, as it will be vital for people to know if the vaccine has stimulated antibody production.

The product is easy to use, requiring minimal training for health professionals, and, as it only takes 15 minutes to produce a result, it enables Covid-19 antibody testing to be performed efficiently in a wide variety of occupational health settings. The test differentiates between IgM which is indicative of very early infection and IgG which appears later post infection and remains in the blood for longer.

The antigen test is a simple swab test requiring only a nasal sample and gives results in 20 minutes. Performance data shows excellent results versus PCR.

The two complementary rapid tests will allow health professionals to determine a complete picture of the status of those they test relative to Covid-19.

Examples of where both products may be used include offices, sports facilities, the military, care homes, airports, pharmacies, meeting and conference venues and many other non-clinical  sites, as well as clinical sites such as GP surgeries and hospital emergency rooms.

Luas Diagnostics has just launched a crowd funding round through Crowdcube and has already received considerable interest.

Brendan Farrell, CEO of Luas Diagnostics, commented: “We are excited to form a partnership with Chembio and look forward to marketing and selling their range of rapid tests into the UK and Irish markets. We see enormous potential for their rapid Covid-19 antigen and antibody products where testing can be performed rapidly, accurately and with minimal training”.

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