Windsor company seeks approval for COVID-19 antibodies test kit

A manufacturing company in Windsor, Ont. is seeking approval from Health Canada for a rapid COVID-19 testing kit.

Audacia Bioscience says it's seeking approval from Health Canada for kit

Audacia Bioscience co-CEO Phillip Olla said this test could detect COVID-19 antibodies in the blood within 15 minutes. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

A manufacturing company in Windsor, Ont. is seeking approval from Health Canada for a rapid COVID-19 testing kit. 

Audacia Bioscience co-CEO Phillip Olla said his company has developed a small device which can be used to find out who may have already been infected with COVID-19.

"What this test does is it is a screening tool and it works with a drop of blood and it tells you whether you have antibodies for the COVID-19 virus," said Olla

Olla explained a scientist with his company was working with the Chinese government in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

When the virus became global, Olla said his company pushed to get a testing kit made available to first responders and health-care workers. 

"The objective is really to see what percentage of the population actually have had the virus already because that's really the way we're going to really move forward," said Olla.

"We need to have an indication of how prevalent has the virus been because a lot of people might have had this without showing symptoms and their only real way to know is to do this very simple blood test to see if we have antibodies for them the for the virus."

Olla said Crest Mold Technology Inc. and Integrity Tool and Mold Inc., both in Tecumseh, are working with Audacia Bioscience to create the plastic for the devices. 

"The whole community is rallying together to create this notion of let's create a diagnostic test that we can use for a whole population which is cheap, cost effective, and and it gives you the information that we need to make informed decisions about how do we deal with our society," said Olla. 

Health-care professionals only

Currently the device is being used at Henry Ford Health care in the U.S., said Olla. 

The device has not yet been approved in Canada, as Olla said his company has just submitted an application to Health Canada.

Over the weekend, the government body approved a rapid COVID-19 test that will be sent out this week. 

Olla said his company's test is for health-care professionals to use only, though it is easy to use, he does not want it to be used improperly. 

"Anyone that's trying to sell you a test like this you need to walk away from it because it's probably going to give me some very inaccurate information," he said. 

With a few drops of blood, Olla said his test can show if your body has "some" protection against the virus because your body has created some antibodies against the virus. The test could also show if you are still contagious. 

The process takes 10 to 15 minutes, said Olla. 


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