Qiagen to launch 15-minute COVID-19 test

Qiagen to launch 15-minute COVID-19 test

Qiagen, a medical diagnostics company, is planning to launch a portable coronavirus test that can process up to 30 patient samples per hour and deliver results within 15 minutes.

The new test would deliver results at a speed and scale that could help airports, stadiums and other venues that host large numbers of people safely resume operations, according to the Netherlands-based company.

Qiagen developed the technology with Ellume, an Australian digital diagnostics company, to detect active infections in individuals. The test is expected to be commercially introduced by year-end, Qiagen said Tuesday in a news release, adding that the product is designed “for environments that require a high volume of fast and accurate test results.”

Delays in processing coronavirus tests across the U.S. have hindered efforts to slow the spread of the virus. Qiagen’s test “will be a valuable tool to address the so far unmet high-volume testing needs for SARS-CoV-2 antigens in situations where time is of the essence,” CEO Thierry Bernard said in a statement.

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Qiagen plans to launch two versions of the test — one for use in laboratories and one for use at point-of-care settings, such as airports. The test correctly diagnoses a coronavirus infection 90% of the time and a negative result 100% of the time, according to the company. The product has yet to receive regulatory approval.

Health care company Abbott also has a 15-minute, point-of-care COVID-19 test that was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration last month. The test accurately diagnoses a coronavirus infection 97.1% percent of the time, according to Abbott.