Abbott Laboratories has shipped 1.4 million of its highly touted “rapid” molecular tests for the Coronavirus strain COVID-19 in the last month across the U.S., keeping ahead of its commitments to ramp up production.
The ability of Abbott to increase production and distribution of its ID NOW COVID-19 test is significant because it has been hailed in the ability of states across the U.S. to ramp up testing and re-open their economies. Abbott’s ID NOW COVID-19 test can deliver “positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes.”
“We have shipped nearly 1.4 million of our rapid ID NOW tests to all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the Pacific Islands,” Abbott said in an update posted on the company’s website Monday night. “The majority of these tests have been sent to outbreak hotspots and we’ve asked that customers prioritize frontline health care workers and first responders. We’re currently manufacturing 50,000 tests per day, plan to increase ID NOW manufacturing capacity to 2 million tests a month by June and are working to expand beyond that.”
The test is regularly touted by President Trump as well as governors that are ramping up testing in their states. The Trump administration has been criticized for the availability of testing, which White House officials say is improving even with more than 1.1 million Coronavirus cases – the most reported from any country as of Tuesday morning.
Abbott’s ID NOW was granted the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s “emergency use authorization” at the end of Marchamid a growing number of agency approvals for more rapid molecular “point-of-care” diagnostic tests that can be used in temporary screening locations, doctor’s office labs and nursing homes to detect the Coronavirus strain COVID-19 within a half hour.
The FDA has escalated approvals of rapid “point-of-care” diagnostics made by other companies as well including Mesa Biotech, which has been shipping thousands of tests a week, and Cepheid which is also ramping up production to meet unprecedented demand.