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Abbott's Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Receives CE Mark for Asymptomatic Testing and Self-Swabbing

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 28 Jan 2021
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Image: Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device (Photo courtesy of Abbott)
Image: Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device (Photo courtesy of Abbott)
Abbott (Lake Forest, IL, USA) has received CE Mark for two new uses of its Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: asymptomatic testing and self-swabbing.

Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device is a lateral flow assay for rapid, qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus. A nasal or nasopharyngeal swab is used for collection of specimens from individuals. Test results are delivered in as early as 15 minutes with no instrumentation. Panbio COVID-19 Ag's label has now been updated with clinical data on asymptomatic individuals, which enables mass testing of people who do not currently present symptoms of the disease. The other update to the label allows self-collection of nasal specimens under the supervision of a healthcare worker. Self-swabbing with a patient-friendly nasal swab improves patient comfort and reduces the risk of accidental exposure to the virus for healthcare workers as they can maintain distance during the testing procedure.

Since last August to date, Abbott has shipped 200 million Panbio rapid antigen tests to 120 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. Healthcare professionals globally have seen the clinical utility of the test in detecting COVID-19 infections. In coordination with the Global Fund, the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Abbott continues to make Panbio rapid antigen tests available to low- and middle-income countries. Panbio COVID-19 Ag is not available in the US, where Abbott manufactures and sells the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card, which has received emergency use authorization (EUA) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Abbott is in the process of pursuing FDA EUA of an asymptomatic indication for BinaxNOW. Both Panbio and BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests use similar biologics and are highly portable, reliable and affordable.

"Rapid testing continues to be one of our most important tools for fighting this pandemic, and the ability to perform mass screening allows us to expand testing and reach more people in more places," said Robert B. Ford, president and chief executive officer, Abbott. "Now that Abbott's Panbio rapid antigen test has an asymptomatic indication, it becomes an even more valuable tool for enabling a safer return to work, school, travel and other activities of daily life."

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