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Roche launches lab antigen test to support high-volume COVID-19 testing

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Roche said on Friday it launched a laboratory SARS-CoV-2 antigen test to support high-volume testing of suspected COVID-19 patients, as very high demand for tests prompts the Swiss drugmaker to offer new options to the market.

The Elecsys SARS-CoV-2 antigen test is an automated laboratory assay intended as an aid in diagnosis of active SARS-CoV-2 infection, Roche said in a statement.

Roche said it would be able to ramp up to a double-digit million number of tests per month by early 2021.

It said the Elecsys SARS-CoV-2 Antigen test showed a 94.5% sensitivity across 200 PCR confirmed symptomatic individuals and a 99.9% specificity across 2,747 PCR negative symptomatic and screening individuals.

Roche has also filed for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Thomas Seythal and Christopher Cushing