Rebound Mid Michigan - Antibody Testing: Developing Reliable Technology

Posted at 10:00 AM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 10:00:52-04

LANSING, Mich. — Knowing if you have COVID-19 antibodies can bring some peace of mind as the country reopens.but many companies are making false claims about their tests, which could lead to a false sense of security. Amanda Brandeis looks at how to find a reliable test, and when you might be able to get one delivered to your home.

“Every person on planet earth is nervous, did I have it, do I have it?”

Considered the coronavirus holy grail, antibodies are believed to give us some level of immunity from the virus.

“There is some really great companies building antibody tests and there are some not so great, bad actors, building antibody tests. So you have to be really careful.”

The FDA is now cracking down on the bad actors – making a list of tests that should no longer be distributed.

Only a handful of manufacturers have been granted FDA emergency use authorization, meeting a certain threshold for accuracy - you can also find this list on their website.

“We were talking to a city government, a big city, and were blown away that they were thinking about buying antibody test from a certain manufacture that claimed they were FDA approved.”

Jon Carder is the co-founder and CEO of Vessel, a company created four years ago to provide in-home wellness tests.

They’ve adapted their technology to be used in the fight against COVID-19.

“We take existing antibody tests, the good ones, the ones that are accurate and that the FDA has approved for emergency use, and we enable those to be done safely and accurately at home.”

Antibodies form after a person has beat the virus.

Vessel created a kit to do the blood test at home.

“People are scared to prick themselves, so this one you can see is flat you put your finger on it until it clicks.”

Once your blood is on the test card it’s scanned through Vessel app, providing results within a half-hour from a medical professional.

The FDA has already approved in-home tests to diagnose active infections – but Carder says the sample must be sent to a lab and the user must have symptoms or another qualification to get one.

“Ours could be one of the first, or the first, antibody test done at home, no lab needed.”

It would cost anywhere from 20 to 30 dollars.

If approved by the FDA, Carder estimates millions of people could be tested within the first month.

“There’s something really great about the peace-of-mind that comes from doing a test.”

Vessel expects to finish clinical trials with the FDA by the end of the month and could get approval soon after.

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