The UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) is a United Kingdom industry consortium created to produce a lateral flow rapid test for COVID-19. Rapid tests are a form of COVID-19 testing technology that was originally developed from significant investment by the United Kingdom government to develop new forms of COVID-19 testing that provided advantages over existing forms such as PCR. Its members include Abingdon Health, BBI Solutions, CIGA Healthcare, Omega Diagnostics, and Oxford University.
In 2020, the consortium developed the AbC-19 rapid test to meet UK government requirements for a rapid testing solution.The government ordered 1 million of the UK-RTC's rapid tests in October 2020.
CIGA Healthcare will be responsible for assembly and distribution, and has also been awarded distribution to the US after recent FDA approval.
Abbott Laboratories is an American multinational medical devices and health care company with headquarters in Abbott Park, Illinois, United States. The company was founded by Chicago physician Wallace Calvin Abbott in 1888 to formulate known drugs; today, it sells medical devices, diagnostics, branded generic medicines and nutritional products. It split off its research-based pharmaceuticals business into AbbVie in 2013.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe.
Lateral flow tests (LFTs), also known as lateral flow immunochromatographic assays or rapid tests, are simple devices intended to detect the presence of a target substance in a liquid sample without the need for specialized and costly equipment. These tests are widely used in medical diagnostics for home testing, point of care testing, or laboratory use. For instance, the home pregnancy test is an LFT that detects a certain hormone. These tests are simple, economic and generally show results in around five to 30 minutes. Many lab-based applications increase the sensitivity of simple LFTs by employing additional dedicated equipment.
Randox Laboratories is a company in the in vitro diagnostics industry, developing diagnostic solutions for hospitals, clinical, research and molecular labs, food testing, forensic toxicology, veterinary labs and life sciences. Randox develops, manufactures and markets diagnostic reagents and equipment for laboratory medicine, with a distribution network of 145 countries.
InBios International, Inc. is a medical diagnostic company based in Seattle that specializes in the design, development, and manufacture of immunodiagnostic devices for infectious diseases. The company was founded in 1996 and, since its inception, has developed several technologies useful in designing rapid and ELISA based immunodiagnostic assays. InBios offers a number of life science reagents, along with a portfolio of more than 25 diagnostic products, including FDA Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 products and FDA-cleared ELISA kits for Zika, dengue, and West Nile and rapid test kits for Chagas and leishmaniasis. InBios is GMP compliant, FDA registered, USDA licensed and ISO 13485:2016 certified.
DiaSorin is an Italian multinational biotechnology company that produces and markets in vitro diagnostics reagent kits used in immunodiagnostics and molecular diagnostics. The group was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Saluggia, Italy. Its production is at several plants located in Europe and the United States: Saluggia and Gerenzano (Italy), Dietzenbach (Germany), Stillwater, Minnesota (US), Dartford (UK). The company is a constituent of the FTSE Italia Mid Cap index.
A rapid antigen test (RAT), or rapid test, is a rapid diagnostic test suitable for point-of-care testing that directly detects the presence or absence of an antigen. It is commonly used for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Rapid tests are a type of lateral flow tests that detect protein, distinguishing it from other medical tests that detect antibodies or nucleic acid, of either laboratory or point-of-care types. Rapid tests generally give a result in 5 to 30 minutes, require minimal training or infrastructure, and have significant cost advantages.
COVID-19 testing involves analyzing samples to assess the current or past presence of SARS-CoV-2. The two main branches detect either the presence of the virus or of antibodies produced in response to infection. Molecular tests for viral presence through its molecular components are used to diagnose individual cases and to allow public health authorities to trace and contain outbreaks. Antibody tests instead show whether someone once had the disease. They are less useful for diagnosing current infections because antibodies may not develop for weeks after infection. It is used to assess disease prevalence, which aids the estimation of the infection fatality rate.
The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. The virus reached the United Kingdom in late January 2020. As of 24 March 2021, there have been 4.3 million cases confirmed and 126,172 deaths overall among people who had recently tested positive – the world's eleventh-highest death rate by population and the highest death toll in Europe. There have been 151,313 deaths where the death certificate mentioned COVID by 2 April 2021, with around 90% giving it as the main cause. There has been some disparity between the outbreak's severity in each of the four countries. Health in the UK is devolved, with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each having their own publicly-funded healthcare systems and governments.
The Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine, codenamed mRNA-1273, is a COVID‑19 vaccine developed by the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and Moderna. It is administered by two 0.5 mL doses given by intramuscular injection given four weeks apart.
COVID‑19 drug development is the research process to develop preventative therapeutic prescription drugs that would alleviate the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19). From early 2020 through 2021, several hundred drug companies, biotechnology firms, university research groups, and health organizations were developing therapeutic candidates for COVID‑19 disease in various stages of preclinical or clinical research, with 411 potential COVID-19 drugs in clinical trials, as of March 2021.
Eleni Nastouli is a Consultant Clinical Virologist at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and Great Ormond Street Hospital. At UCLH Nastouli leads the Advanced Pathogen Diagnostics Unit, where she develops technologies for genome sequencing as well as studying how viruses are transmitted around hospitals. During the COVID-19 pandemic Nastouli led an investigation into infection rates amongst healthcare workers.
The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or the Global Collaboration to Accelerate the Development, Production and Equitable Access to New COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, is a G20 initiative announced by pro-tem Chair Mohammed al-Jadaan on 24 April 2020. A call to action was published simultaneously by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 24 April.
Abingdon Health is a British manufacturer of lateral flow assay diagnostic tests. It is under contract to the British government for the supply of AbC-19 rapid antibody tests, a test for the presence of IgG antibody against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, as part of the UK Rapid Test Consortium program. On 27 January 2021, the Financial Times reported that "all outstanding orders" had been cancelled by the Department of Health on 11 January 2021, following Abingdon's failure to obtain approval for home use of its lateral flow test by 25 December 2020.
The AbC-19 rapid antibody test is an immunological test for COVID-19 exposure developed by the UK Rapid Test Consortium and manufactured by Abingdon Health. It uses a lateral flow test to determine whether a person has IgG antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. The test uses a single drop of blood obtained from a finger prick and yields results in 20 minutes.
V451 was a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Queensland and the Australian pharmaceutical company CSL Limited. The vaccine candidate used the University of Queensland's molecular clamp technology and the MF59 adjuvant.
CIGA Healthcare is a British manufacturer of lateral flow assay diagnostic tests. It is under contract to the British government for the supply of AbC-19 rapid antibody tests, a test for the presence of IgG antibody against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, as part of the UK Rapid Test Consortium program.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme in the United Kingdom is the world's first mass immunisation campaign to protect against SARS-CoV-2 using vaccines developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a coronavirus was isolated in December 2019, its genetic sequence was published on 11 January 2020, triggering an urgent international response to prepare for an outbreak and hasten development of a preventive COVID-19 vaccine. Since early 2020, vaccine development has been expedited via unprecedented collaboration in the multinational pharmaceutical industry and between governments. By June 2020, tens of billions of dollars were invested by corporations, governments, international health organizations, and university research groups to develop dozens of vaccine candidates and prepare for global vaccination programs to immunize against COVID‑19 infection. According to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the geographic distribution of COVID‑19 vaccine development puts North American entities having about 40% of the activity compared to 30% in Asia and Australia, 26% in Europe, and a few projects in South America and Africa.
The development of COVID-19 tests was a major public health priority during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.