On Monday, U.S. regulators granted emergency use authorization to pharmaceutical company Becton Dickinson for their rapid coronavirus antigen test. CNBC reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the authorization to help speed up the diagnosis of coronavirus cases, with the antigen test producing results within 15 minutes of use. Since the news was revealed, the company's shares have risen by 2.3 percent, the New York Times notes.
The FDA has highlighted how these new antigen tests, which are a relatively new type of test for COVID-19 that scans for proteins found on or inside a virus, will be important in the fight against the pandemic. The tests have been praised due to the relatively low cost of production, the fast speed of manufacturing, and can be used to test patients in a variety of settings. The first antibody test for coronavirus was produced by Quidel Corp and was approved in May.
"This will be a game-changer for frontline healthcare workers and their patients to be able to access a quick diagnostic test for COVID-19, offering results in real-time at convenient locations like retail pharmacies, urgent care centers, and doctors’ offices," remarked Becton Dickinson's Dave Hickey.
The test can be used with the existing BD Veritor System platform, which around 25,000 healthcare facilities in the country already have. The company has already produced a number of other types of tests for the coronavirus this year, and has indicated that it will increase production of such tests ahead of an anticipated second wave.
The United States currently has over 2.9 million confirmed cases of the virus, and 130,000 deaths.