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Rapid test developed in part by Rochester researchers

Monday, November 16, 2020

Researchers and patients in Rochester have played a role in developing rapid tests now being used inside schools and other facilities.

The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid test was developed in part with researchers at the University of Rochester and patients admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital who had suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Researchers say about 250 patients participated in the study for the new test, which is touted as producing accurate and fast results.

"We were pretty surprised when we saw the test. As high as it was for an antigen test like this, these are pretty great numbers to see," said Kian Merchant-Borna, with the U of R.

He says the tests are more than 97 percent accurate at detecting COVID-19 infections and even more effective at finding a negative case.

"To have a rapid test like this that requires no special instrumentation or testing equipment, you don't need technical personnel, and it's something small, easy, and disposable, and cost effective to make," said Merchant-Borna.

The tests are ideal for settings like schools, colleges, or nursing homes, according to Merchant-Bona. Right now, he says demand is very high, and the federal government is purchasing tens of millions of the tests from the company behind them.

"This is just yet another tool we can use to get our numbers under control and protect ourselves and each other," Merchant-Borna said.

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Quick COVID-detecting Nasal Swab Card, Tested at URMC, is Approved for Use

Thursday, September 24, 2020

A $5 test that detects COVID-19 from a nasal swab within 15 minutes -- and has been evaluated in a clinical trial at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) -- has received FDA Emergency Use Authorization for use by doctors, nurses, school nurses, pharmacists and other health care providers.

"This is really exciting," says Kian Merchant-Borna, M.P.H., M.B.A., faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine, who is the site principal investigator of the study and of the Emergency Medicine Industry Sponsored Research Program. "Eventually, anyone in their home will be able to use this, before you send your children off to school, or before you go to visit your grandparents. It's the same technology as a urine pregnancy test, and just as easy to use."

The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Point of Care (POC) diagnostic test, which is the size of a credit card and detects the presence of COVID-19 antigens, also provides a free phone app for persons who receive a negative result. The app will display a temporary encrypted digital health pass via a QR code (similar to an airline boarding pass). Businesses, schools, and other organizations will be able to view and verify the information on a mobile device.

Read More: Quick COVID-detecting Nasal Swab Card, Tested at URMC, is Approved for Use