Launched on Thursday, hVIVO COVID Clear Test, which is part of Open Orphan plc, is claimed to be the most accurate antibody test available to UK employers, helping them to get their people back to work. Having recently secured the rights from Quotient for their antibody testing platform which detects with 100% accuracy antibodies when present (unlike finger prick tests which MHRA advised against), hVIVO is now formally offering antibody testing to customers.
This is the first time that such on demand testing is made available to large employer groups in the UK and hVIVO’s equipment has the capability to run 3,000 samples per day, 21,000 per week, 1 million per year.
hVIVO is offering antibody testing using Quotient MosaiQ™ COVID-19 Antibody Microarray. These tests have 100% sensitivity for the detection of COVID-19 antibodies. They involve a full blood draw by a nurse or GP, this sets them apart from the lower cost, finger prick, antibody tests which have been proven to be less accurate. In the past week, the Medicines regulator in the UK advised against the use of finger prick antibody tests.
On 9th March 2020, the Group announced that it has commenced the development of the world’s first commercial human coronavirus challenge study model, also known as a Controlled Human Infection Model (CHIM). hVIVO is utilising common coronavirus strains in these challenge study models, which are from the same family of viruses as COVID-19 virus but unlike COVID-19 these common coronaviruses have been widespread in the community for many years. Consequently, these common coronaviruses, while closely related to the COVID-19 strain can safely be administered to volunteers in hVIVO’s highly controlled quarantine clinic, staffed by a highly experienced medical and scientific team.
Adam French, Laboratory Operations Director, hVIVO, said, “We are very proud to be the first UK company to be offering mass COVID-19 antibody testing to large employer groups, GP networks, nursing services, health clinics and private hospitals. Our scientists combined with Quotient’s technology are able to run 3,000 samples per day and will help support the UK to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Franz Walt, Chief Executive Officer, Quotient, said, “Antibody testing is crucial for guidance on immunity, development of vaccinations and potential revaccinations, as well as helping to answer outstanding epidemiological questions about the spread of the virus. We are incredibly proud to be collaborating with hVIVO and Open Orphan in this project and can assure them that we will provide top of the line services alongside our excellent products.”
Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman of Open Orphan, which owns hVIVO, said, “hVIVO is a world class company with best in class scientists and facilities. We are very excited to be offering this service and I am confident our work will help large companies and clinics in the UK test their staff and patients to ensure the safety of all employees. I look forward to updating everyone on our progress in due course.”