Siemens Healthineers has announced the availability of its molecular Fast Track Diagnostics SARS-CoV-2 Assay test kit, which can help diagnose people infected by the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. The test kit, which allows identification of the virus in less than three hours, has been developed by Siemens Healthineers’ Luxembourg-based daughter company Fast Track Diagnostics.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a sanitary crisis around the world, pharmaceutical companies are going full steam ahead to develop solutions for diagnosing, treating and eventually curing the disease. The FTD SARS-CoV-2 Assay test kit presented by Siemens Healthineers on 2 April 2020 uses the same workflow as the company’s other FTD Respiratory Disease kits. It can be run in laboratories simultaneously with FTD Respiratory Pathogens 21, a molecular syndromic testing panel that identifies 21 different upper respiratory pathogens.
“With this molecular diagnostic assay, we want to make a contribution to fight the current COVID-19 global pandemic by delivering fast and accurate SARS-CoV-2 testing,” said Sebastian Kronmueller, Head of Molecular Diagnostics at Siemens Healthineers. “The Siemens Healthineers assay is designed to help researchers positively identify the virus in less than three hours so that healthcare professionals can proceed as quickly as possible with the necessary next steps on their patients’ triage paths.”
The test kit has been developed by Fast Track Diagnostics, a Siemens Healthineers Company located in Esch-sur-Alzette in the south of Luxembourg. Founded in 2007 as a spin-off of one of Luxembourg’s largest medical laboratories, Laboratoires Réunis, the company was acquired by Siemens Healthineers at the end of 2017.
The COVID-19 test kits are already being shipped within the European Union to be used for research only. The company is applying for Emergency Use Assessment and Listing from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for clinical use, as well as for Emergency Use Authorisation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At the same time, Siemens Healthineers is expanding its production capacity.