The test is performed from a simple drop of blood taken from the patient's finger. - @ karlphotographer.com
- The question of large-scale screening for coronavirus is debated in France.
- The Breton company NG Biotech announces the launch of a rapid screening test using a single drop of blood.
- It expects first deliveries in the next two or three weeks and says it is ready to manufacture 500,000 tests as early as May.
After hesitating for a long time, the French government has just changed its strategy in its fight against the coronavirus by announcing a rise in screening tests. In this race against the clock, some players are already in the starting blocks. This is the case of the company NG Biotech, based in Guipry near Rennes, which announces the commercial launch of a “very fast” serological test.
CE marked since last week, this all-in-one, single-use test should make it possible to detect the presence of antibodies specific to Covid-19 and to indicate whether the patient is or has been in contact with the virus . All it takes is a single drop of blood taken from the fingertip using a lancing device. "The test then reads like a pregnancy test with a result that is known in just 15 minutes," said Milovan Stankov Pugès, CEO of the company, contacted by 20 Minutes .
A target of one million tests manufactured in June
Developed in an emergency, these tests have been evaluated in recent days in several hospitals in the Paris region, in particular at Bicêtre hospital or in the emergency department of Lariboisière hospital in Paris. "The results of its reliability will be communicated very soon," said Milovan Stankov Pugès.
Pending publication, the CEO of NG Biotech ensures that his company is already ready to handle an influx of orders, with first deliveries expected between the second and third of April. "We plan to manufacture 500,000 tests in May, 800,000 in June and a million in July," details the entrepreneur.
A test for healthcare professionals
To cope with this increase in activity, the company has opened a second production site and plans to hire a hundred people in the coming weeks. "We will respond as a priority to French health needs," says the CEO, adding that the test will not be sold, at least initially, commercially.
"It will be primarily intended for health professionals, especially in hospitals, with a use that can be done at the bedside", specifies Milovan Stankov Pugès, more than ever mobilized "to support the national effort and take part in the fight against the pandemic ”.
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