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COVID-19 | Thermo Fisher launches RT-PCR test system that can deliver results in 30 minutes

The Accula SARS-CoV-2 test has received Emergency Use Authorisation from the USFDA for thje Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments–waived environments.

June 16, 2021 / 11:55 AM IST

Thermo Fisher Scientific, a US-based maker of diagnostic equipment, chemicals and consumables on June 15 launched the rapid point of care (POC) reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 test in India. This can deliver results in 30 minutes.

Accula is a start-to-finish portable diagnostic system consisting of a palm-sized box called a dock and a fully integrated single-use microfluidic test cassette. A nasal swab sample is injected into the cassette. The cassette is then inserted into the dock. The dock gives results in 30 minutes. The Accula system requires least training, and can be deployed in clinics, hospitals, offices, stadiums, concerts, and airports among others.

Thermo Fisher said the test pricing will be determined by its customers - the testing laboratories and hospitals, and it will be competitive.

The Accula SARS-CoV-2 Test has received Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the USFDA for Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)–waived environments.

In India, Accula tests will be made available at ICMR-approved diagnostic labs, and through this network at several areas and locations which require point-of-care testing.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Thermo Fisher said the product is competitively placed to make it more accessible and affordable for customers in India.

“Thermo Fisher’s new testing platform combines the accuracy of RT-PCR with the simplicity, convenience, and procedural familiarity of traditional rapid immunoassays," said Amit Chopra, Managing Director, India and South Asia, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

“The rapid Accula point-of-care test will open new avenues of personal and public testing without compromising on accuracy,” Chopra said.

In January 2021, Thermo Fisher acquired Mesa Biotech Inc., which developed the Accula SARS-CoV-2 test to provide accurate and faster results at the point of care. India is one of the first countries outside the US, where Accula is launched.

Accula has been used widely in the US, including at the swearning-in ceremony of President Joe Biden.
Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.
first published: Jun 15, 2021 09:12 pm

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