FRAMINGHAM – The Eurofins’ U.S. Clinical Diagnostics network announced blood-based antibody testing for Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 will begin Monday, April 6 at Boston Heart Diagnostics, a Eurofins subsidiary headquartered in Framingham.
Given the overwhelming demand in acute care settings, the laboratories will initially offer the test to hospitals only, said the company.
As capacity increases, and as knowledge on the disease develops, the Eurofins’ network plans to begin offering testing more broadly, said the company.
Eurofins has been at the forefront of fighting SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S., launching proprietary, active infection testing through laboratories including Viracor Eurofins and Eurofins Diatherix using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Both laboratories have available capacity for additional PCR testing with same or next day results, said the company.
Unlike the NP swab-based PCR test, which are subject to the results of ongoing studies at hospitals around the world, blood-based serology testing may become a tool to identify people who were exposed, may have developed some level of immunity to COVID-19 but potentially had mild to no symptoms.
Testing is recommended at least 14 days after potential exposure – giving the body the time it needs to build an immune response and produce antibodies.
Over time, antibody testing is likely to become a crucial next step in fighting the spread of the virus, said the company.
Hospitals along the East Coast, including those in hot-spot areas, will have the option to courier specimens to Boston Heart Diagnostics for results in just hours, said the company.
“Because CVD patients are at substantially higher risk of mortality from Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection, Boston Heart Diagnostics is pleased to be able to offer both nasal-pharyngeal swab and IgM and IgG antibody testing as of April 6,” said a press release.
Viracor Eurofins will continue to support hospitals, transplant programs, and other immunocompromised and critically ill patients by offering its own serology test, which is expected to launch in mid-April, said the company.
The Eurofins’ network will initially run nearly 5,000 tests per day, or 200 results every hour, said the Company.
This speed is crucial to helping first responders and healthcare providers.
Over time, Eurofins’ antibody testing can also help experts understand how much of the population has been infected with Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, said the company.
Patients who suspect they were exposed to Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 or who have experienced unconfirmed COVID-19 symptoms, should consult with a local hospital on if and how to get tested as recommended by health authorities in their state.
Boston Heart Diagnostics of Framingham has been a leader in advanced cardiovascular testing for the past 14 years, and became part of the Eurofins laboratory network about 5 years ago.