5th February 2021 Product update: rapidmicrobiology staff writer
WHO Give Large Contract for Low-Cost Rapid COVID-19 Tests to Indian Manufacturer
Premier Medical Corporation (PMC), headquartered in Sarigam Gujarat, India, will begin shipping COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) after securing a contract with the World Health Organization.
The Sure Status COVID-19 Antigen Card Test is a rapid chromatographic lateral-flow immunoassay for the qualitative detection of specific antigens to SARS-CoV-2 present in human nasopharynx. It provides results in 15-20 minutes.
With investment from FIND and Unitaid, the company is expanding and automating manufacturing capacity so that rapid antigen tests can be made available LMICs for less than US$2.50 per test (excluding transportation and potential duties).
The company is currently producing 3 million per month, but through FIND and Unitaid investment, production capacity will be scaled up to 10 million per month by Q3 2021. The expanded manufacturing capacity can also be used in future to make affordable tests for other infectious diseases, including another potential pandemic.
This and subsequent investments stemming from the Expression Of Interest put forward by WHO and FIND will support technology transfer and scale-up of regional manufacturing capacity, ultimately to enable over 250 million low-cost, high-quality tests to be made available for LMICs.
Further development will enable nasal sampling (less invasive than current nasopharyngeal swabbing) and enhanced test performance.
Date Published: 5th February 2021
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Note: This content has been edited by a rapidmicrobiology staff writer for style and content.