April 7, 2020 / 8:26 AM / 4 months ago

Italy's Diasorin aims to launch COVID-19 antibody test by end-April

A man wearing a face mask sits at a bus stop, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Milan, Italy April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s medical diagnostic group Diasorin said on Tuesday it aims to launch a new serological test to detect antibodies in patients infected with the new coronavirus by the end of April.

Diasorin said it had completed its studies and was working to obtain the EU’s CE mark scheme and authorisation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of this month.

Several academic laboratories and medical companies are rushing to produce these blood tests, which can quickly identify disease-fighting antibodies in people who have already been infected.

“The product has been designed to respond to the need to identify people in the population who have already been infected with the virus, where diagnosis has not been performed with a swab and a molecular diagnostic test,” Diasorin said in a statement.

Diasorin has already launched a molecular test to quickly identify the new coronavirus.

Six weeks after the coronavirus outbreak in the country, authorities in northern Italy have begun testing health workers for antibodies that may help identify individuals with immunity to the virus as they look for ways to ease the lockdown imposed a month ago to contain the epidemic.

Diasorin shares were up more than 6% in early trade.

Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; editing by Jason Neely

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