Tests that can tell who’s had the coronavirus are crucial to reopening the country. Here are the companies racing to bring them to the US healthcare system.
- With the novel coronavirus still confining people to their homes in large swaths of the country, all eyes are on the burgeoning market for antibody tests.
- These tests, called serology kits, look for antibodies that may indicate immunity to the virus. Having immunity could eventually let people return to work.
- Regulators eased the approval process in March, prompting a slew of companies to make serology tests in-house or sign deals with drugmakers overseas to bring them to US customers.
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Unlike a test that diagnoses the virus itself, antibody tests can tell if people have been exposed to it in the past, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With a finger prick of blood, the tests, also called serology kits, detect antibodies developed to fight off the coronavirus, which might indicate immunity.