The U.S. FDA detailed which kinds of SARS-CoV-2 tests are getting top priority, with access to rolling, rapid reviews for emergency use authorization (EUA) during the unfolding pandemic. The agency is aiming to authorize point-of-care and at-home tests to better distribute the use of testing in various locations. It also is looking at automated and high-throughput tests that can offer analysis of larger batches of tests at one time.
The latest U.S. FDA town hall for testing for the COVID-19 included a few updates on serological testing, but perhaps the most important take-away was when Tim Stenzel, director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiology, advised attendees that performance expectations regarding next-generation sequence (NGS) testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus will closely resemble those of conventional molecular testing.
The U.S. FDA reported that 28 serology tests for antibodies for the SARS-CoV-2 virus either have been withdrawn from the market by the sponsor or delisted by the agency for failure to comply with its notification process for emergency use authorization (EUA). The agency said the list of unavailable tests will be updated over time. For his part, Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the move was undertaken “to ensure that Americans have access to trustworthy tests.”
The FDA’s weekly town hall on testing for the COVID-19 pandemic included the usual range of concerns about test performance, but concerns regarding swabs and sample sites continue to mount. The predicament has led to the announcement that the FDA along with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a May 15 town hall regarding swabs, with a particular interest in swabs produced via additive manufacturing.
The U.S. does not have a universal health care system, which means that it fails to provide a consistent level of minimum care across its population. That means that basic and preventative care often falls through the cracks, even as the U.S. continues to excel at medical innovation and offer the most highly regarded health care in the world to those who can afford it.
Abbott Laboratories received FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 molecular test, which will run on the company's new Alinity m system, as well as its COVID-19 antibody blood test, which will run on the Alinity i system. The two actions bring to five the number of COVID-19 tests developed by the Abbott Park, Ill.-based company to receive EUAs.
The challenges to deploy diagnostic and surveillance testing for the COVID-19 pandemic will persist at least until a vaccine is ready if not well beyond that milestone. The state of COVID-19 testing as a regulated sector is a complex intersection of new and old technologies, questionable accuracy, availability hurdles, supply chain interruptions and problems with interpretation of results.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world – and the face of diagnostics. In a matter of weeks, a host of companies has worked to develop tests to find those patients who currently have the disease, as well as those who have developed antibodies.
The U.S. FDA continues to modify its emergency use authorization (EUA) policy for testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, although workplace testing is still on the agency’s to-do list. The FDA’s Tim Stenzel noted on a May 6 briefing that serological tests for antibodies must now demonstrate an overall sensitivity of 90% and overall specificity of 95%, a set of standards that might challenge some tests that are available under the EUA policy.
PARIS – In the wake of the news that Swiss group Roche Holding AG received an emergency use authorization from the U.S. FDA as well as a CE-IVD certification for the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test to detect antibodies in people previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2 that causes the COVID-19 disease, the company unveiled its plans for the launch of the product.