Industry News: UK Government's urgent request for COVID-19 antigen testing kits

This critical appeal was made to the life sciences sector in order to tackle the spread of coronavirus

26 Mar 2020

The BIA is helping the UK Government (Office for Life Sciences) to raise awareness of an urgent call out to the life sciences sector to help increase the supply of antigen testing kits for COVID-19.
The requirement is for commercial supply of the following:

  •  Full testing packages (specification below)
  •  Any of the separate components within the testing package
  •  Any alternative tests the government should be considering

The specification for the testing kit is as follows:

1. Swabs

  • Nasopharangeal (Floxsynthetic fiber tipped (polyester) or flocked swabs) with polystyrene shafts that are scored at 80 mm for a breakpoint
  • Nasopharyngeal (minitip) are currently preferred
  • No discoloration on the swab bud (i.e. yellowing or brown discoloration).
  • Sterilised and individually wrapped
  • No calcium alginate swabs
  • No swabs with wooden shafts
  • Nose and throat swabs (Rayon tipped – FDA review in process) 

2. Sample Vial

  • Glass (20.25 +- 0.25 x 47.25+- 0.5) & Plastic (TBD)

3. Viral transport medium

  • Covid-19 transport medium

4. Alcohol/Sanitiser wipes
5. Re-packaging (storage/biohazard packaging)

  • Vial wrap – Specification TBD
  • Sealed zip lock bag
  • Second bag (plastic/cushioned)
  • Sealable container – ‘Biobottle’
  • Postal ‘biobox’

In addition, there is also a requirement for swabs for PCR diagnostic testing. 

Any organizations that can supply for sale any or all of the above should email as soon as possible.

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