Story By: Ernest Bio Bogore, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
A French startup company says it has developed an “ultra fast” COVID-19 test that can detect the killer bug within 15 minutes with a single drop of blood.
Dr Alain Calvo, director of development at NG Biotech in Guipry-Messac in the department of Ille-et-Vilaine in the north-western French region of Brittany, said: “This strip test will make it possible to identify specific antibodies produced by the body from a drop of blood within 15 minutes.”
He added: “This is the first ultra-fast blood test manufactured and clinically certified in France.”
The NG Biotech director said: “This is not an innovation, but our test rapid stands out for its ease of use. All it takes is a drop of blood from a fingertip.
“It is much like a pregnancy test, except this time the principle is being developed in the context of an unprecedented health crisis which made us adapt quickly.”
NG Biotech CEO Milovan Stankov Puges said that he is pleased to have developed “in record time” a “reliable and rapid test for diagnosing COVID-19”.
He added: “We will offer our tests to the French healthcare authorities so they can ensure better patient planning and monitoring as soon as possible.”
According to local media, the tests will cost over 50 EUR (44 GBP) each.
The test has the CE marking and it has been evaluated mainly by hospitals and the Pasteur Institute, according to reports.
French health minister Olivier Veran announced that he plans to order 2 million tests.
Dr Calvo said: “For the moment, we are negotiating with the ministry. In particular regarding the price. We’re hopeful that we’ll reach an agreement soon.
“We are able to produce between 50,000 and 70,000 tests by this April. We have been working to a plan to produce them quickly.
“We can produce between 300,000 and 500,000 tests per month by May. Then go up to a million tests in July. To do this, we will need help and support to recruit and expand our production site in Brittany.”
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