By Kimberly Chin

 

Becton Dickinson & Co. and BioMedomics said Tuesday they will launch a new test that can detect current or past exposure to Covid-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, in nearly 15 minutes, part of a new wave of companies seeking to scale up testing and cut down wait times for results.

Clinical-diagnostics company BioMedomics has developed and manufactured the new test, which will be available through Becton Dickinson. The test will be exclusively distributed by Henry Schein Inc. Healthcare providers around the U.S. will be able to receive the tests.

The four-stage test won't require special equipment, the companies said. It can be used in a laboratory or at a point-of-care facility.

The test will be able to detect antibodies in the blood that are produced in response to the coronavirus infection. The test can detect past exposure as well, which could help researchers pinpoint more precisely the occurrence of the infection in the population.

Though the test has been clinically validated at some hospitals and labs in the U.S. and China, it hasn't been reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, it is permitted for distribution and use under the fast-tracked emergency guidelines of the agency.

 

Write to Kimberly Chin at kimberly.chin@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 31, 2020 16:47 ET (20:47 GMT)

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