NEW antibody test kits for ongoing COVID-19 testing and immunity research are now being manufactured in Essex.
Europlaz Technologies Ltd, based in Southminster in Essex, have signed a contract to exclusively manufacture a COVID-19 antibody test.
While the existing COVID-19 swab test currently being used by the Government and health services can detect whether a person has the virus at that moment, it cannot tell whether a person has had the virus previously and since recovered. These swab tests also take some time to generate a result.
Antibody tests, on the other hand, can provide near-immediate results about whether or not a person potentially has or has ever had COVID-19. As well as being very useful for key health workers in ensuring a safe return or continuation of their work, knowing generally who is or is not at risk of catching or spreading the virus will provide a much greater understanding of COVID-19 immunity. It will also assist with vaccine research and potentially the easing of some lockdown restrictions in the future.
Europlaz was selected to manufacture these test kits for several key reasons, including their fast response to the initial approach, their expertise in medical device manufacturing and a demonstrable track record of engineering highly technical devices. Europlaz also had clear capacity to manufacture the kits within their facilities, having just built two additional Class 7 Clean Rooms – the industry standard for manufacturing medical devices.
Eddie O’Keeffe, Chairman of Europlaz Technologies Ltd, commented: “Thanks to our state-of-the-art resources, Europlaz will be able to physically put the components of the test kits together in approximately 20-30 seconds during the manufacturing process, potentially allowing us to manufacture millions of devices.
Eddie concludes: “We are incredibly proud to be involved in such a significant project protecting the health of our nation through the COVID-19 testing process and we look forward to seeing health services and individuals reap the benefits of antibody test kits.”