Australian company Atomo Diagnostics (ASX:AT1) has expanded its existing COVID-19 rapid test partnership with Access Bio.
Under the expanded partnership, Atomo will have non-exclusive rights to market and distribute Access’ COVID-19 rapid antigen test in Australia, New Zealand and India, branded the Atomo COVID-19 Antigen Test, subject to obtaining the required regulatory approvals in each jurisdiction.
The Atomo COVID-19 rapid antigen test is a nasopharyngeal swab test designed to screen for antigens produced in response to COVID-19 infections at the point of testing.
The company said unlike the general nasal swab testing in Australia, which typically uses molecular PCR assays to test for the presence of the virus and must go to a central laboratory for processing, its test is processed at the point of care and results are available after ten minutes.
"As such, antigen testing may have benefits for early identification and controlling outbreaks in some situations, compared to PCR tests in settings with prolonged turnaround times," said the company.
It said the rapid antigen test has the potential to complement its existing TGA approved AtomoRapid COVID-19 rapid antibody test that identifies whether a patient has developed antibodies to the virus and is most accurate around 15 days from exposure.
In comparison, the Atomo COVID-19 Antigen Test is most accurate immediately after the onset of symptoms," it said.
According to Atomo’s co-founder and managing director, John Kelly, “Atomo is delighted to have secured rights to market a quality US manufactured rapid antigen test from a trusted partner. We believe that having the ability to screen for both acute infection and prior exposure at the same time, with results delivered after 10 minutes at the point of testing, could be gamechanging in the way we diagnose COVID-19.
Mr Kelly added, “Antigen tests have been proven to provide good detection of COVID-19 infection in the early stage onset of symptoms. Combined with our TGA-approved rapid antibody test for COVID-19 that reliably detects exposure to the virus over a longer period, we believe that a combo rapid screen will offer excellent performance outside of laboratory settings where reliable testing is most needed.”