The UK government has entered into a contract with Abingdon Health, on behalf of the UK-Rapid Test Consortium, for the supply of COVID-19 rapid antibody tests.
As part of the contract, the government has also placed its first order for one million AbC-19 Rapid Antibody tests.
The test uses a small drop of blood from a finger-prick, and shows results in 20 minutes, without the need to go to a specialised laboratory.
The AbC-19 test can be administered by healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare workers, at the point-of-care. It has already received the ‘CE mark’, which indicates health and safety conformity for goods sold in the UK and EU.
Abingdon Health CEO Chris Yates said: “Our test will help give a picture of how many people in the UK have antibodies. This will be a crucial part of the understanding of immunity to COVID-19.
“Mass testing will also help understand what the longevity of immunity is and, in time, help assess the efficiency of any vaccine on the market. In this respect, high-quality mass antibody testing has never been more important, and it will be critical for future public health responses.
“The UK Government order of the first one million tests is an endorsement of this UK designed, developed and manufactured high-quality rapid diagnostic test. It is a triumph of British business and a breakthrough for UK life sciences.
“We have ramped up production since the start of August and will be ready to deliver the first tests to the Government by early October. I would like to express my thanks to all my Abingdon Health colleagues for their tremendous support and hard work in achieving this milestone.”
The UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), which comprises the University of Oxford, Abingdon Health, Omega Diagnostics, BBI Solutions and CIGA Healthcare, was created to develop and manufacture millions of new COVID-19 antibody tests to determine a person’s immunity after contracting the virus.
The UK Government helped to set up the UK Rapid Test Consortium and invested in the development of the tests.