Abbott (ABT) Receives FDA EUA for Laboratory PCR Assay That Detects and Differentiates SARS-CoV-2, Flu A, Flu B and RSV

March 5, 2021 9:01 AM EST

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Abbott (NYSE: ABT) today announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the company's Alinity m Resp-4-Plex molecular assay to detect and differentiate SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in one test. This is an important tool because these viruses have similar symptoms but require different treatment approaches. This test is CE Marked and available in countries outside the U.S.

The Alinity m Resp-4-Plex test can be conducted with one swab specimen (anterior nasal or nasopharyngeal) collected by a healthcare provider or an anterior nasal swab specimen self-collected at a healthcare location from individuals suspected by their provider of respiratory viral infection consistent with COVID-19. Test will run on Abbott's Alinity m system — the company's most advanced high-volume laboratory molecular instrument. Alinity m uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, which is known for its high sensitivity in detecting infectious diseases. To help fight the pandemic, Abbott has accelerated placements of the Alinity m system in hospital labs, academic centers and labs that are critical to patient care.

"Abbott has been developing and introducing tests that have been playing a critical role in fighting the pandemic. The need for a combination of testing methods in different settings has never been more clear," said Andrea Wainer, executive vice president, Rapid and Molecular Diagnostics, Abbott. "This newest test will allow for fast and efficient diagnosis and triage of patients who present with respiratory symptoms so they can be given the right care."

Advanced technology's role in the fight

The Alinity m Resp-4-Plex assay will be a critical tool in detecting these four prevalent respiratory viruses. The advanced technology of the Alinity m system provides automation and on-demand access, meaning an urgent test can be run at any time. This flexibility and efficiency allow for the testing of multiple diseases while still producing fast results in high volumes. This assay's ability to detect and differentiate these viruses simultaneously with only one swab will also ease the resource strain on collection devices, which have been in high demand throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Expanding Alinity m SARS-CoV-2 to asymptomatic cases

Abbott is also announcing that the EUA for the company's Alinity m SARS-CoV-2 test has been updated to include an asymptomatic claim – detecting COVID-19 in individuals who do not have symptoms. A recent study found that more than 60% of COVID-19 infections present as asymptomatic cases, which is why it's critical to catch those cases before they spread.1 With the recent update to the Alinity m SARS-CoV-2 test EUA, the assay can now be used to detect individuals who are infected with SARS-CoV-2, but do not have symptoms or other reason to suspect COVID-19 infection. The Alinity m SARS-CoV-2 test EUA was also updated to include a pooling claim, which allows up to five samples to be tested at the same time. The updated Alinity m SARS-CoV-2 test, Alinity m Resp-4-Plex assay, and Abbott's existing testing technologies will now all be available to support front-line healthcare workers.

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