Endeavouring to play our part in the ongoing fight against COVID-19, we are delighted to announce that Europlaz has recently signed a contract to exclusively manufacture a COVID-19 antibody test kit.
The introduction of antibody test kits will be revolutionary for ongoing COVID-19 testing and immunity research. While the existing COVID-19 swab test currently being used by the Government and health services can detect whether a person has the virus at that moment, it cannot tell whether a person has had the virus previously and since recovered. These swab tests also take some time to generate a result.
Antibody tests, on the other hand, can provide near-immediate results about whether or not a person potentially has or has ever had COVID-19. As well as being very useful for key health workers in ensuring a safe return or continuation of their work, knowing generally who is or is not at risk of catching or spreading the virus will provide us with a much greater understanding of COVID-19 immunity. It will also assist with vaccine research and potentially the easing of some lockdown restrictions in the future.
Europlaz was selected to manufacture these test kits for several key reasons, including our fast response to the initial approach, our expertise in medical device manufacturing, our competitive price and demonstrable track record of engineering highly technical devices. We also had clear capacity to manufacture the kits within our facilities, having just commissioned two new Class 7 Clean Rooms – the industry standard for manufacturing medical devices.
Thanks to our state-of-the-art resources, Europlaz will be able to physically put the components of test kits together in approximately 20-30 seconds during the manufacturing process. Though initially Europlaz will aim to manufacture 10,000 test kits a week, this number will eventually increase to around 25,000 later on in the month. As of the 4th May, we have started producing the test kits; the first ones should be ready by mid-May to be supplied to end-users by Edinburgh Genetics.
We are incredibly proud to be involved in such a significant project and protecting the health of our nation through the COVID-19 testing process and we look forward to seeing health services and individuals across the world reap the benefits of antibody test kits.