Siemens Healthineers has announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its laboratory-based total antibody test to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies including IgM and IgG in blood. Test data demonstrated 100 percent sensitivity and 99.8 percent specificity. The total antibody test allows for identification of patients who have developed an adaptive immune response, which indicates recent infection or prior exposure. Testing can begin immediately with more than one million tests already shipped to health systems and laboratories.
A spike protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus enables the virus to penetrate and infect human cells found in multiple organs and blood vessels. The Siemens Healthineers Total Antibody COV2T assay was thoughtfully designed to detect antibodies to the spike protein. These antibodies are believed to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus and therefore prevent infection. Multiple potential vaccines in development for SARS-CoV-2 include the spike protein within their focus.
“As a leader in laboratory diagnostics, Siemens Healthineers designed a high-quality, highly accurate antibody test with the capacity and reach necessary to help address a critical societal need,” said Deepak Nath, PhD, President, Laboratory Diagnostics, Siemens Healthineers. “The test targets both IgM and IgG antibodies, which allows for early identification of individuals infected with the virus who have developed an immune response, even if they were asymptomatic or never diagnosed with the disease.”
About Antibody Test Specificity
Tests with high level of specificity yield low false positive rates, which is highly desirable especially when prevalence of disease is low. For example, a test with 99.8 percent specificity, in populations with low disease prevalence (e.g., 5 percent), will yield a positive predictive value (PPV) of 96.5 percent. In other words, 96.5 people in 100 testing positive will truly have antibodies. This number only goes up as the disease prevalence increases; for example, in communities with 10 percent of disease prevalence, this test would yield a PPV of 98.3 percent, meaning that 98.3 people in 100 people with positive tests results have antibodies. High quality antibody testing is vital to accurately assess the prevalence of disease, which varies across the U.S.
“As one of the leading specialized laboratories, we recognized the critical need of our customers to have rapid and accurate testing to manage COVID-19 among their patients and staff," said Paul F. Beyer, CEO of Ascend Clinical. “The Siemens Healthineers total antibody test enables us to confidently deliver fast, reliable results that will be extremely valuable in the surveillance of the disease.”
The total antibody test SARS-CoV-2 Total (COV2T) is available on the largest installed base of high-throughput analyzers, including the Atellica® IM immunoassay analyzers, which can run up to 440 tests per hour and enables a result in just 10 minutes. The test also is available on the company’s expansive installed base of ADVIA Centaur® XP and XPT analyzers, which can test up to 240 samples per hour with a result in 18 minutes. Comparable antibody testsfor Siemens Healthineers Dimension Vista® and Dimension® EXL systems started shipping on May 29, further extending clinical reach across the company’s 20,000 systems installed worldwide.
The tests were developed in the epicenter of the pandemic, are manufactured in Walpole, Mass. and Glasgow, Del., and are distributed from Plainfield, Indiana. The company is ramping up production, with capacity exceeding 50 million tests per month across its testing platforms.
About Siemens Healthineers Commitment to COVID-19 Testing
In addition to antibody and molecular SARS-CoV-2 tests, Siemens Healthineers offers a broad diagnostics portfolio to aid in the prognosis, treatment and follow up of COVID-19 patients.The company’s broad and differentiated menu includes hematology, coagulation, cardiac, respiratory, inflammation and infectious disease panels. Blood gas and imaging solutions from Siemens Healthineers deliver actionable results that aid clinicians in caring for COVID-19 patients.
Want more of the latest science news straight to your inbox? Become a SelectScience member for free today>>