World-leading COVID-19 antibody test developed by Auckland diagnostic biotech company Pictor will be available for use in New Zealand before the end of November, the company has announced.
The test could make New Zealand’s long-awaited easing of border restrictions safer as the country continues to battle the pandemic’s Delta variant.
Following “outstanding” results in an alpha trial, the company’s antibody test has been registered in Medsafe’s WAND database for marketing and use in New Zealand. The company’s manufacturing capabilities are being significantly increased at its Auckland facility and a production agreement is in place with South Pacific Sera in Timaru.
An Auckland testing laboratory will be offering the Pictor test before the end of November.
Pictor Chief Operating Officer Howard Moore says the company’s low-cost, high-performance, high-throughput multiplexed COVID-19 test can help determine when antibody levels following vaccination have declined to a level where revaccination is required.
“New Zealand needs to be aware that achieving very high vaccination levels will simply not be enough in the medium term. The Delta variant is relentless and, as jurisdictions overseas have already discovered, revaccinations will be required for many people to keep them, their families, workplaces and communities safe.”
Pictor’s PictArrayTMSARS-CoV2 assay is unique in its ability to, in one test, detect the Spike Protein (SP) and Nucleocapsid Protein (NP) antibodies, thus differentiating people who have antibodies from a previous infection (SP and NP antibodies) from those who have been vaccinated (SP antibodies only).