OPKO Health's BioReference Laboratories in Partnership with New York State Initiates Testing for COVID-19 Antibodies
ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., April 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- BioReference Laboratories, Inc., an OPKO Health company (NASDAQ:OPK), announced that beginning today it will offer antibody blood tests to detect an immune response after infection with the COVID-19 virus. Antibody testing and molecular diagnostic testing for COVID-19 are available to healthcare providers nationwide. In addition, under an agreement with New York State, BioReference will begin testing thousands of people per day for COVID-19 antibodies, starting today with MTA employees.
BioReference began antibody testing last week with a focus on testing its employees. This week, BioReference launches COVID-19 antibody testing nationwide and is working expeditiously to be able to test 400,000 patients per day by mid-May.
"Testing for antibodies is the next logical step to help employers and employees countrywide make decisions as to how to move forward with their jobs and personal lives," said Jon R. Cohen, M.D., Executive Chairman of BioReference Laboratories. "We are proud to partner with New York State to identify employees' antibody levels and areas of the population with varying levels of antibodies, types of populations that may be at a higher risk of infection, individuals who may be possible plasma donors of convalescent serum and data that can be helpful when deciding on how to roll out a vaccine when it becomes available."
BioReference is offering a semi-quantitative immunoassay that measures SARS-CoV-2 specific antibody levels to determine the patient's immune response after COVID-19 infection. While antibody tests are helpful to understand if an individual has developed antibodies and a potential immune response, antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude infection. Test results should be interpreted in connection with other factors, such as symptoms and history. Results signify that antibodies are present, but protective immunity based on these results has yet to be established in clinical trials.
Blood antibody tests offered by BioReference are performed on high-throughput instruments, have been validated for sensitivity and specificity, have been reviewed by appropriate state Departments of Health and are registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Specimens will be accepted from physician offices, hospitals, other clinic settings and officially sanctioned screening programs.
For more information, visit https://www.bioreference.com/coronavirus.
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SOURCE BioReference Laboratories, Inc.
Company Codes: NASDAQ-NMS:OPK