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FDA Authorizes First Test that Detects Neutralizing Antibodies from Recent or Prior SARS-CoV-2 Infection

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 09 Nov 2020
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Image: cPass SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization Antibody Detection Kit (Photo courtesy of GenScript USA Inc.)
Image: cPass SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization Antibody Detection Kit (Photo courtesy of GenScript USA Inc.)
The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first serology test that detects neutralizing antibodies from recent or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The FDA has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to GenScript USA Inc. (Piscataway, NJ, USA) for its cPass SARS-CoV-2 Neutralization Antibody Detection Kit, which specifically detects antibodies that bind to a specific part of a pathogen and have been observed in a laboratory setting to decrease SARS-CoV-2 viral infection of cells. Although the FDA has previously issued EUAs to more than 50 antibody (serology) tests, those tests only detect the presence of binding antibodies. Binding antibodies bind to a pathogen, such as a virus, but do not necessarily decrease the infection and destruction of cells. It is important to note that the effect of neutralizing antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 in humans it is still being researched.

“The ability to detect neutralizing antibodies can help us gain additional insight into what the existence of antibodies may mean for patients as we continue the fight against COVID-19,” said Tim Stenzel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “There are still many unknowns about what the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies may tell us about potential immunity, but today’s authorization gives us another tool to evaluate those antibodies as we continue to research and study this virus. Patients should not interpret results as telling them they are immune, or have any level of immunity, from the virus.”

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