Celltrion Group announced on Tuesday that it plans to broaden its diagnostic portfolio for SARS-CoV-2 by introducing antigen and antibody COVID-19 test kits for the overseas market. The company set out to acquire CE approval in Europe this month to enhance access to COVID-19 testing and aid in preventing the further spread of the virus.
Point-of-care Antigen Testing Kit
The South Korean biotech company, along with test kit maker BBB, co-developed point-of-care antigen testing (POCT) kits for COVID-19. BBB is a South Korean healthcare company specializing in blood testing and lab-on-a-chip technology.
The POCT kit uses a portable and highly sensitive small machinery that analyzes saliva and blood for rapid point of care testing. In clinical settings, the device supports the early detection of patients infected with COVID-19.
Celltrion said that it would have the POCT kits certified this month and made available outside South Korea in July.
Celltrion’s prototype POCT kit showed early promising results with more than 95 percent sensitivity. The kit gives accurate and fast results using a microfluidic electrochemical biosensor in its lab-on-a-chip technology.
Rapid Antibody Diagnostic test
The company also signed a distribution agreement with Korean in-vitro diagnostic company Humasis. Under the deal, both companies would cooperate in the distribution and sale of rapid diagnostic tests globally this June.
The test is a rapid antibody diagnostic test (RDT) kit that offers a cost-effective option. RDT allows hospitals to identify and confirm recovering patients. The two companies would also collaborate in upgrading both rapid antigen and antibody diagnostic tests. Celltrion would use its patented COVID-19 antibody-antiviral technology to improve detection sensitivity.
According to Celltrion, both tests require only 15 to 20 minutes of analyzation time.
“We are committed to providing flexibility for testing needs as the pandemic evolves, and are using our expertise and experience developing antibody treatments and targeting coronaviruses to fight this pandemic.”
-Ki-Sung Kwon, Celltrion’s Head of R&D