News World New Roche coronavirus test wins emergency U.S. approval

New Roche coronavirus test wins emergency U.S. approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency authorisation for a faster coronavirus test made by Swiss diagnostics maker Roche, a move aimed at boosting screening capacity to help contain the growing epidemic.

The new tests provide results in 3.5 hours and can produce up to 4,128 results daily, the Basel-based company said on Friday, a boost to tests the company has offered until now.

The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorisation clears the tests to be deployed in the United States and markets accepting the CE mark showing they conform to European standards.

U.S. testing was hampered by flawed kits distributed by the federal government in February, which gave some false results. That set the country back in containing an outbreak that has infected more than 122,000 people worldwide and more than 1,660 in the United States.

Roche said it is “going to the limits of our production capacity” to deliver as many of the faster tests as possible.

“The virus is infecting people in an exponential way. We knew we had to go to the high through-put systems,” Roche Diagnostics head Thomas Schinecker said in an interview. “This will help isolate patients who are infected, so you can keep the others healthy.”

TWO SYSTEMS

The tests are for two diagnostics systems: Roche’s cobas 6800, which can process 1,440 samples per day, and its faster cobas 8800 that can do more than 4,100. Worldwide, there are 695 cobas 6800 systems installed and 132 of the 8800s, with “more than 100” in the United States, Roche said.

Schinecker said Roche is in talks with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDS) over deploying more systems where they are most needed, including Washington state, where 31 of the nation’s 41 deaths have occurred.

The University of Washington School of Medicine has boosted capacity to 1,000 tests daily, but its labs have also faced supply chain issues, including too few people available to pick up specimens and take them to labs, officials there have said.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Ministry issues heat protection advice as temperatures soar

    Citing an extreme high temperature warning issued by the Met Office for today, the Health Ministry on Saturday published basic heat protection advice. The health...

Turkish parliament passes disputed bar associations law

    Turkey's parliament passed a law on Saturday on changing the structure of bar associations, a move that lawyers argue will further undermine judicial independence...

Man arrested as police probe arson in Pano Pyrgos fire

  A 39 year old Paphos resident is under arrest as police investigate a deliberate forest fire in Panos Pyrgos Tyllirias on June 25. Police said...

Absence of solution in Cyprus “increasingly unsustainable,” UN chief says

    The absence of a solution to the Cyprus problem is “increasingly unsustainable,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said, stressing that since the collapse of...

Bill Gates calls for COVID-19 meds to go to people who need them, not ‘highest bidder’

    Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates called for COVID-19 drugs and an eventual vaccine to be made available to countries and people that need them most,...

Taste

Moungra

Moungra is a traditional Cypriot mezze which consists in cauliflower pickled in fermented bread dough and typically served as an appetizer or meze. It...

Cheesy Eggplant Rolls

Ingredients 4 Eggplants 2 tbsp olive oil 1 chopped onion, 2 grated carrots 1 garlic clove (sliced) ¾ of the cup finely chopped canned tomato, ½ ts sugar 1 ts oregano 2 tbsp...

Black eyed peas with chard (Louvia me laxana)

Ingredients: 2 cups black eyed peas small lemon (juice) + 1 tsp lemon zest 1 bunch Cypriot chards olive oil & lemon for serving salt & pepper Method: Step 1 Put the...

How to make triandafillo ice cream, by UK Cypriot chef Loulla Astin

  Just in time for the scorching heat, UK Cypriot chef Loulla Astin has shared her recipe for refreshing triantafillo ice cream -- or as...