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Get Results in 15 Minutes! COVID19 Antigen Self Test Kits Launched in China

By RAN ZHENG|Mar 15,2022

Chongqing- The 2019-nCoV antigen test kit developed by Chongqing Medical University and produced by Chongqing Mingdao Jiece Biotechnology Co., Ltd. was officially approved by the National Medical Products Administration on March 13. This is the first approved COVID-19 antigen detection kit in central and western China.

The 2019-nCoV antigen test kit developed by Chongqing Medical University and produced by Chongqing Mingdao Jiece Biotechnology Co., Ltd.

The 2019-nCoV antigen test kit developed by Chongqing Medical University and produced by Chongqing Mingdao Jiece Biotechnology Co., Ltd. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Currently, 2 million kits can be produced in one day, which will meet the needs of large-scale self-testing.

The new detection kit

The 2019-nCoV antigen test kit is similar to the pregnancy test stick; it's a rapid and straightforward virus detection method.

Photo of the 2019-nCoV antigen test kit.

Photo of the 2019-nCoV antigen test kit. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Under the normalization of epidemic prevention and control, problems still exist, such as insufficient testing and support capabilities of medical staff, cross-infection during centralized testing, as well as high costs, and low efficacy of nucleic acid testing, according to reports.

To solve these problems, the team of Professor Huang Ailong, from Chongqing Medical University urgently carried out the new COVID-19 antigen rapid detection (colloidal gold method) kit. This kit was developed based on the world's first Coronavirus antibody detection kit by chemiluminescence in March 2020.

Professor Huang said that antigen testing is more convenient, efficient, economical, safer, and faster than conventional nucleic acid testing for coronavirus.

The antigen testing can realize single-person on-site detection without any additional instruments and equipment and maximize the application scenarios of coronavirus screening.

The cost of reagents is low but efficient. It could provide reliable test results in 15 to 30 minutes, especially suitable for large-scale on-site emergency testing.

The operation of antigen testing is simple, and it is easy and convenient for all age levels and occupational categories to carry out self-testing.

In January of 2022, in the emergency drill of 20,000 people's self-testing at home for coronavirus antigen conducted in Bishan District, Chongqing Medical University and Chongqing Big Data Application Development Administration jointly developed a WeChat mini-program for artificial intelligence recognition of coronavirus antigen detection. The consistency of the artificial intelligence interpretation result and the manual review result is 99.97%.

New path for epidemic prevention

"The COVID-19 antigen detection kit can be used for distributed screening in high-traffic public places such as airports, stations, and docks. It is effective for early detection of suspected cases and isolation of the infection cases, which is conducive to comprehensive prevention and control, said Professor Huang. 

Professor Huang also suggested that a model combining "large-scale antigen detection based on home self-testing + targeted small-scale accurate nucleic acid detection" should be established as soon as possible. This model will provide a new path for the country's epidemic prevention and control.

On March 13, the National Medical Products Administration approved five new applications of COVID-19 antigen test kit products. Since then, 10 COVID-19 antigen detection kit products have been launched in China.

The five approved brands are all domestic companies and include Chongqing Mingdao Jiece Biotechnology Co., Ltd and Beijing Wantai Bio-Pharmacy Enterprise Co., Ltd.

The domestic market for COVID-19 antigen detection is projected to range from 17.7 billion to 26.6 billion yuan (about 2.8 billion to 4.2 billion U.S. dollars ) a month, with increasing purchasing demand, according to a research report by Zhongtai Securities.

More than 200 companies are selling COVID-19 antigen kits worldwide, and Chinese brands with strong competitiveness are expected to take a leading role globally.


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