Abbott’s 15-minute, $5 COVID-19 test gets FDA authorization

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ABBOTT PARK, Ill. — Abbott announced on Wednesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card rapid test for detection of COVID-19 infection. Abbott will sell this test for $5.

It is highly portable (about the size of a credit card), affordable and provides results in 15 minutes. BinaxNOW uses proven Abbott lateral flow technology, making it a reliable and familiar format for frequent mass testing through their healthcare provider. With no equipment required, the device will be an important tool to manage risk by quickly identifying infectious people so they don’t spread the disease to others.

Abbott will also launch a complementary mobile app for iPhone and Android devices named NAVICA. This first-of-its-kind app, available at no charge, will allow people who test negative to display a temporary digital health pass that is renewed each time a person is tested through their healthcare provider together with the date of the test result. Organizations will be able to view and verify the information on a mobile device to facilitate entry into facilities along with hand-washing, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and mask-wearing.

“We intentionally designed the BinaxNOW test and NAVICA app so we could offer a comprehensive testing solution to help Americans feel more confident about their health and lives,” said Robert Ford, president and chief executive officer, Abbott. “BinaxNOW and the NAVICA app give us an affordable, easy-to-use, scalable test, and a complementary digital health tool to help us have a bit more normalcy in our daily lives.”

In data submitted to the FDA from a clinical study conducted by Abbott with several leading U.S. research universities, the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Carddemonstrated sensitivity of 97.1% (positive percent agreement) and specificity of 98.5% (negative percent agreement) in patients suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider within the first seven days of symptom onset.

“The massive scale of this test and app will allow tens of millions of people to have access to rapid and reliable testing,” said Joseph Petrosino, professor and chairman, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, whose labs have been leading efforts to provide COVID-19 testing for the college and Harris County. “With lab-based tests, you get excellent sensitivity but might have to wait days or longer to get the results. With a rapid antigen test, you get a result right away, getting infectious people off the streets and into quarantine so they don’t spread the virus.”

Under FDA EUA, the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card is for use by healthcare professionals and can be used in point-of-care settings that are qualified to have the test performed and are operating under a CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Compliance, or Certificate of Accreditation. Within these settings, the test can be performed by doctors, nurses, school nurses, medical assistants and technicians, pharmacists, employer occupational health specialists, and more with minimal training and a patient prescription.

“Our nation’s frontline healthcare workers and clinical laboratory personnel have been under siege since the onset of this pandemic,” said Charles Chiu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Laboratory Medicine at University of California, San Francisco. “The availability of rapid testing for COVID-19 will help support overburdened laboratories, accelerate turnaround times and greatly expand access to people who need it.”


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