A biotechnology firm based in the city of Sepsiszentgyörgy (Sfântu Gheorghe) has launched a test for the detection of IgG-type antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the company told the Hungarian News Agency in a communiqué.
The coronavirus antibody test devised by Proel Biotech is based on the ELISA-method, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, which is frequently used by research and diagnostic labs. The recently marketed product is the first test developed in Romania, which can detect and measure the immune response of people infected with coronavirus in less than two hours. During the authentication experiments, the test did not give any false positives nor false negatives, stated the company.
The product has obtained all the necessary authorizations from the Romanian National Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices, thus orders can go forward, and it will be commercialized by distributors in the coming weeks as well.
“Our laboratory is engaged in several research projects in the field of immunology and the development of new diagnostic methods. We have to procure several indispensable reagents from abroad, which has not been easy at all because of the pandemic. All in all, we have realized that we had all the materials and conditions needed for devising such an antibody test, which we did,” explained the lead scientist of the project, Szilárd Fejér.
He noted that this coronavirus antibody test will also be able to determine how well a potential vaccine works, by measuring whether or not vaccinated people have developed immunity against the infection. The test created by the Sepsiszentgyörgy lab contains components of the coronavirus (mostly proteins), which are also parts of several coronavirus vaccines currently being developed, added the researcher.
The product is headed for hospitals and diagnostic centers; as it is a serology test, the probes must be taken by medical personnel and the results can be read with laboratory equipment. The company does not plan to devise any home test kits for coronavirus antibodies; as the lead researcher noted, the quick tests available on the market should not be used for self-diagnosis.
According to his biographic data published on his website, Szilárd Fejér obtained a chemist’s degree in 2005, followed by a PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2009.
Title image: The new test will also be able to determine how well a potential coronavirus vaccine works. The image is an illustration