UK health authorities are in talks with Swiss pharma giant Roche to buy its Covid-19 antibody tests after Public Health England said it is effective.
Elecsys, identifies whether an individual has been exposed to the coronavirus and developed an immune response to it, was already approved in the US and the EU.
“This has the potential to be a game changer,” Edward Argar, Britain’s junior health minister was reported as saying by Reuters.
“We are now moving as fast as we can to discuss with Roche purchasing of those but I can’t give you an exact date when we’ll be able to start rolling them out.”
Roche said it has capacity to deliver hundreds of thousands of the tests per week to the UK.
Germany will receive 3mln tests in May and 5mln per month thereafter.
According to analysts at Credit Suisse, serology tests are “critical” in understanding immunity and potentially lift restrictions.
Abbott and Eurofins announced the launch of their products in mid-April.
Other companies are focusing on new kinds of diagnostic equipment such as Genedrive PLC (LON:GDR), which is developing a Covid-19 test to deliver results quickly in close proximity to patients, rather than needing to send samples to labs.