Quidel’s COVID-19 antigen test likely to be of interest to low-income countries

Following Quidel’s third Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization (EUA) of a COVID-19 antigen test;

Dara Lo, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“Quidel’s COVID-19 test could be of great interest to low-income countries that typically cannot afford population-wide testing due to the cost-effectiveness of antigen testing.

“Antigen tests that can be performed at the point-of-care (POC), and deliver results in a matter of minutes, could mark a shift away from traditional clinical diagnostic lab tests, which can take days. Antigen tests’ cost-effectiveness could be an advantage, as they are based on the same lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) format used in home pregnancy tests and could help track and contain the spread of the pandemic due to ease of use in clinics and eventually homes.

“Although the sensitivity of antigen-based POC tests is lower than that of a PCR, repeated rapid testing (surveillance testing) could do a better job at identifying contagious individuals than reliable but cumbersome PCR tests. Large-scale rollouts of POC antigen tests have yet to be deployed, but, if successfully done, will set a precedent for rapid development and deployment of antigen tests should another COVID-19 outbreak or pandemic occur.

“The launch of this new rapid antigen test will help Quidel gain market share, which could be a major advantage over its main competitor, Becton Dickinson.”

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