Medical firm develops 15-minute Covid test ‘to get economy back to normal’

A global medical testing and diagnostics company has developed a Covid-19 antigen test which will play a major part in ‘re-opening the country.’

ICT International, whose European operation is based in Leek, Staffordshire, is looking to roll out its rapid antigen test across the UK and Europe after receiving its CE mark earlier this month.

The ‘game-changing’ test, which has been almost two months in development, is said to be one of the most accurate and fastest tests on the market – with patients being told their results within just 15 minutes.

Mike Mulroy, ICT International’s vice president for Europe, Middle East and Asia, said: “We are really confident that this test is pretty top drawer compared to all the other ones that are out there.”

The ICT International Rapid Antigen Test uses a swab which is placed up the nose of the subject. It is then dipped into a tube that is supplied with the kit along with a testing solution.

A few drops of the solution are then placed onto a small cassette and the results are displayed in a very simple format within 15 minutes.

The test – which is manufactured in Cape Town, South Africa at ICT’s ISO-rated facility – needs no expensive laboratory testing or specialised transport, which reduces the possibility of error in reporting, sampling and even samples being unviable when they arrive at the laboratory.

Clinical tests of the device have shown the test is 97.3 per cent accurate, which is equal to or greater than many PCR tests currently being used by governments and heath authorities around the world.

Mike Mulroy is pictured here with one of the tests
Mike Mulroy is pictured here with one of the tests

Mike believes ICT’s test could be the key to re-opening the economy.

He said: “It will mean fans can watch football or maybe a Six Nations rugby game again in the stadium or go to a grand prix or a tennis tournament.

“The same with aviation, if passengers are tested before entering an airport terminal and then again on landing, travel restrictions could be lifted. Obviously all hygiene protocols such has hand sanitisation and enhanced cleaning must still be followed, but this is how we can start to return to normal and open up the economy.”

ICT International has been at the forefront of diagnostic test development and manufacture for the past 30 years.

In the past, it has developed rapid test kits for a number of global pandemics including the HIV crisis and the Zika virus.

Over the past decade, the company has sold more than 15 million malaria tests around the world.

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As part of its efforts around the coronavirus, the company has also developed a ‘hygiene hub’ sanitisation solution and a defence spray to help prevent the spread of the infection and ensure places such as offices, stadiums, airports and hotels are covid-secure.

ICT is also in the process of developing an app which allows users to see and record their Covid-19 test results on their mobile phones – and present them when needed during work, leisure or travel.

Mike said: “We have already started to provide this test to airlines across Europe and cruise operators and we are getting some really good feedback. Now we are looking at a huge roll out with universities.

“It is really exciting. Not only are we releasing the test and the app which in itself is a major breakthrough, but we also have two incredible products to complement the test which means we can offer airlines, cruises, businesses, theatres and sport stadia the opportunity to be completely covid-secure.”

Business Live – West Midlands