Smiths Detection has been working with Attomarker, a multiplex blood-testing technology company spun
out of the University of Exeter in England, to help produce a
COVID19 antibody-testing device.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory
Agency (MHRA) has already approved Attomarker’s Triple Antibody
Test for NHS use in the UK.
The Smiths Detection team has been collaborating
with Attomarker since April on the design and performance of
the device and has manufactured 10 pre-production units, with the
ability to ramp up volume according to demand.
Triple Antibody Test device is a portable, desktop,
antibody-testing device designed to provide laboratory-standard
results in any environment. It delivers results in just seven minutes – compared with up to
72 hours for tests that need to be sent away for laboratory
The result of a trial at St Thomas’ Hospital in
London – published last week in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s
journal Analyst – shows that the Attomarker Triple Antibody Test
delivers a sensitivity of up to 96% in detecting COVID19
antibodies, including in patients who have previously presented
false negatives. This is a significant improvement on recently
announced tests, which range between 83.9% – 93.9% – though not
with real world patients.
Smiths Detection President, Roland Carter, said,
“The Smiths Detection team was able to take the current designs of
the existing product and make enhancements that will contribute
not only to its improved performance and robustness, but also the
ease at which it can be produced. The success we have seen
so far in this project is a testament to the high-standard
research that the team is able to achieve, but also its agility
and flexibility to pick up a project and deliver results. Not just
from the perspective of our engineers and scientists, but also in
terms of the supply chain, manufacturing and quality.”
Attomarker’s technology uses a multiplex platform
that tests simultaneously for multiple clinically relevant
biomarkers against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Attomarker tests for
three virus proteins (Spike 1, Spike 2 & N) and three classes of
antibodies (IgM, IgG and IgA), giving a more powerful profile of
the patient’s immune response to COVID19. This could help validate
a COVID19 vaccine when a viable candidate completes development.
The Triple Antibody Test device is being manufactured at Smiths
Detection’s site at Hemel Hempstead.