British laboratory makes breakthrough in its Covid-19 antibody test development

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Offering their support to the Government and NHS to help get the nation tested for coronavirus, a leading health and wellness company has made a breakthrough in its development of a Covid-19 antibody test and is seeking more blood samples to expedite the validation of this test.

YorkTest Laboratories, who has 38 years scientific expertise in the development and provision of home to laboratory finger-prick blood testing services, is using their expertise in IgG testing and existing laboratory facilities to develop a COVID-19 IgG antibody test as a priority for both healthcare staff on the frontline and the general public.

“We already have a laboratory enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for measuring immunoglobulin G (IgG) reactions to foods. We know that the methods and formulations that we use for this are very robust and scalable, so we already have a great foundation and the expertise in our laboratory for developing the COVID-19 IgG antibody test,” said Dr Gill Hart, Scientific Director at YorkTest Laboratories.

“Our core business provision of home-to-laboratory testing is well established with all the equipment, certifications (CE, IVD, ISO), and procedures are already in place to be able to deliver a COVID-19 antibody test solution once development is completed.

“Following an appeal to our customer base last week, we have now reached a major milestone as to the feasibility of our COVID-19 IgG antibody test, as we received a number of tested positive for COVID-19 blood samples. Using these samples has enabled us to successfully assess the initial feasibility of our own COVID-19 IgG antibody test.” said Dr Gill.

What YorkTest needs now, however, to expedite the development timeline is many more tested positive COVID-19 blood samples. The company is making an urgent appeal to the general public who have been affected by coronavirus to respond with their help.

“It’s important that our test is accurate and can distinguish between those individuals that definitely have had the virus, and those that haven’t. We need more samples confirmed positive and negative using the swab test for completion of the development.

“We also need to demonstrate that the test is reproducible and is able to detect the low levels of antibodies that are present at the start of the infection”. said Dr Gill.

YorkTest already has an established home-to-laboratory finger-prick blood collection kit, enabling people to safely and responsibly take a tiny blood sample from the comfort of their own home.

“Once the antibody test has been developed and validated, we could potentially support many individuals, including healthcare workers and businesses with a means to determine whether or not they have been exposed to COVID-19. Our laboratory and team of lab technicians have the capacity to be able to provide over 100,000 COVID-19 antibody tests per week.

“We are also working on an IgM antibody test, which when performed alongside the IgG antibody test, may provide even more information about that person’s phase of recovery from the coronavirus.” added Dr Gill.

“YorkTest are keen to collaborate with the Government, NHS England or other private operations that are doing the same; we want to help in the fight against coronavirus.” commented Richard Dawson, Managing Director at YorkTest Laboratories.

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