The British government has decided to conduct countrywide testing and has initiated talks with the Switzerland based pharmaceutical group, Roche Holdings AG, for buying its newly developed Elecsys®Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology testing kit. This new test has gained approval from respective authorities in the United States and the European Union. The British government believes that this test could be a revolutionary step in exiting the lockdown. It is also being said that based on the test results, the government may likely issue health certificates to the individuals.
The unprecedented outbreak of the novel coronavirus has taken a toll on the world. Major economies in the world have been brought to a screeching halt in the light of this deadly pandemic. The pandemic has claimed more than 33 thousand lives in the United Kingdom. The worst affected countries are China, Italy, United States and Spain. However, there are a few countries such as Germany, which have controlled the devastation caused by the deadly pandemic. Germany is known for its medical infrastructure and has controlled the spread of the contagious virus by increased testing.
Due to the pandemic, people are asked to stay at homes, and the lockdowns are enforced by the local governments. The government has provided with the fiscal stimulus, and the central banks have gone for rate cuts to boost economic activity. But this cannot go for long. The government are in dire need to figure out a way to exit from this lockdown. Therefore, the British government is looking forward to increased testing of individuals for resistance against the novel coronavirus.
The antibody test developed by the Switzerland based pharmaceutical group, Roche Holdings AG has been approved by the Public Health England, which is likely to boost testing for Covid-19 in the United Kingdom. This testing is aimed at identifying the individuals who have recovered from the deadly pandemic and can return to work. In a broader sense, it is a way to exit the lockdown imposed by the British government on 23rd March. The antibody test developed by the Switzerland based pharmaceutical group has gained acceptance from the European Union and the Food and Drug Administration (US).
Antibody test developed by Roche Holdings AG
Elecsys®Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test is the new antibody test devised by Roche Holdings AG which would determine that the individual has been as of now infected with the coronavirus and possibly created invulnerability to the infection by detecting the presence of antibodies in his blood plasma and serum.
In addition, the testing facilities, laboratories and medical clinics can adapt to this newly developed test using their existing medical infrastructure and set up. The company provides computerised testing frameworks, which can provide with test results in nearly 20 minutes, with a testing capacity of conducting nearly 5 tests per minute.
British Government might consider issuing health certificate based on Antibody test
There are speculations that the government may issue Health certificate based on these tests, which will certify that the individual has developed resistance against the Covid-19 and has antibodies present in his/her body. This also means that the individual has gone through antibodies testing and has recovered from the infection. Therefore, he/she can return to work safely. The health certificate would allow people to return to work and can play a vital in removal of lockdown. However, the government has asked the people to practice social distancing and plans to speed up antibody testing.
However, WHO has warned against these health certificates as this concept is based on several assumptions. One of those assumptions is about the accuracy of the test results. Covid-19 does not show symptoms in its early stage and is difficult to diagnose. Therefore, the test results might be inaccurate. Another assumption is that the presence of antibodies increases immunity to fight the infection. According to experts, this is partially true as well. Only the presence of the right type of antibodies which are referred to as neutralising antibodies and in a significant amount can help in providing the immunity to the individual. Moreover, nothing much could be said about the duration of immunity, as it might last for a few weeks or days.
In addition, these assumptions lead to a huge amount of risks which might result in loss of lives. If people could return to work based on these health certificates, they might tend to relax social distancing. Since it is an asymptomatic disease, this might lead to community transmission and eventually a second wave of the novel coronavirus spread. There is no scientific proof behind the theory that the presence of antibodies would guard against the coronavirus infection. The medical researchers and practitioners are facing an unseen enemy with just 4 to 5 months of data and have gathered only a limited amount of knowledge about the virus. However, it has been learnt from a small study that some amount of population tends to develop strong resistance against the deadly virus.
Business overview: Roche Holdings AG
Roche Holdings AG is an overall pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, focused on scientific innovations in the field of medical science to improve people's lives. The blend of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics have ended up being productive for Roche in spearheading customised solutions by which the company is able to provide the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible. Roche is one of the greatest biotech firms, with distinct research approach in the fields of immunology, oncology, ophthalmology, and other communicable diseases identified with the human nervous system. The company is also known for its cancer treatment and other critical illnesses treatment along with proven success in curing diabetes. The company was founded in 1896 and strives to make a practical contribution in the realm of medical science by seeking improvements to foresee, analyse and treat illnesses. The group additionally seeks medical collaborations around the world to improve the accessibility of clinical advancements.
Roche Holdings AG has carved a niche for itself in the field of medical sciences by developing medicines for malaria, cancer and other life-saving drugs known as essential medicines. These medicines are recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as essential medicines. The Switzerland based group has nearly 100 thousand employees and presence in over a hundred countries. In the Financial year 2019, Roche Holdings AG invested nearly CHF 12 billion in R&D and recorded a turnover of CHF 62 billion.