Smiths Detection has announced that it collaborated with Attomarker Ltd, a multiplex blood-testing technology company spun out of the University of Exeter, U.K., to help produce a COVID-19 antibody-testing device that could represent an evolution in rapid and precise COVID-19 antibody testing. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approved Attomarker’s Triple Antibody Test for use by the National Health Service (NHS) in the U.K. as of July 8.
The Smiths Detection team has been working alongside Attomarker since April on the design and performance of the device and has manufactured 10 pre-production units, with the ability to ramp up volume according to demand.
Attomarker’s Triple Antibody Test device is a portable, desktop, antibody-testing device capable of providing laboratory-standard results in any environment. It is designed to deliver rapid, accurate, quantitative results in just seven minutes – compared with up to 72 hours for tests that require to be sent away for laboratory analysis.
The result of a trial at St Thomas’ Hospital in London – published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal Analyst – shows that the Attomarker Triple Antibody Test delivers a sensitivity of up to 96% in detecting COVID-19 antibodies, including in patients who have previously presented false negatives. This is a significant improvement on recently announced tests, which range between 83.9% – 93.9% – though not with real world patients.
Smiths Detection, which is probably best known for providing airport screening equipment, frequently partners with companies and governments to develop detection equipment.
Smiths Detection President Roland Carter said: “The Smiths Detection team was able to take the current designs of the existing product and make enhancements that will contribute not only to its improved performance and robustness, but also the ease at which it can be produced.
“The success we have seen so far in this project is a testament to the high-standard research that the team is able to achieve, but also its agility and flexibility to pick up a project and deliver results. Not just from the perspective of our engineers and scientists, but also in terms of the supply chain, manufacturing and quality.”