15-minute coronavirus antigen tests to be shipped from China to the UK

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Unlike the conventional PCR tests – which cost at least £45 each – this means that no lab is required and they can be stored at room temperature. The cost and speed of the tests were hailed by Boris Johnson last week – who said that the UK is developing capacity to manufacture millions of the tests. But Medakit CEO Mike Touzard pointed out that millions of the tests already exist – and he could begin shipping them to the UK today from his Chinese factory which can manufacture 800,000 tests a day.

Speaking as the UK teeters on the brink of a second lockdown, the 24-year-old said: “It’s truly game changing. PCR tests were not made to detect Covid. They’re expensive and take days to give results to patients – our test has none of those problems.

“Our test is for mass testing – it would solve the global testing problem and it’s affordable to use as a long-term solution to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We could test everyone in London within 10 days for a fraction of the £100 billion that Boris Johnson said the government is willing to spend.

“We are confident that it can really make a difference to the UK and help avoid another lockdown.”

When combined with Medakit’s antibody test – which also costs £7 and gives a result within 10 minutes – it is 99 percent plus effective, according to Mr Touzard.

This is unlike PCR tests – some of which have been criticised for their poor quality and accuracy with false negative rates being as high as 33 percent in some repeat testing.

Mr Touzard developed the “high accurate” antibody test which has been hailed as one of the best on the market as the pandemic erupted in March.

This tells someone if they’ve ever had Covid-19 – and if they are likely to have lasting immunity.

But as many countries, particularly in Europe, teetered on the brink of a second lockdown he decided to develop a rapid antigen test which tells if someone has the virus at that specific moment in time.

The entrepreneur, who splits his time between Europe, Asia and Israel, worked “night and day” throughout August with a team of scientists working in the Zhejiang region of China.

Within four weeks it went from a concept to a physical product which can be used in the EU after passing independent accuracy tests and getting a CE mark.

It is currently being examined at the world leading Hôpitaux de Paris in the French capital and several countries are showing an interest in using Medakit Antigen Test.

Mr Touzard has also approached the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency as well as the NHS about the test.

The first batch arrived in Europe last Monday and he says that if he was given the go ahead 2½ million tests could be made and shipped to the UK from China within a week.

He explained: “The World Health Organisation recently bought 120 million antigen coronavirus tests for use around the world.

“Airports are starting to use them and countries like France, Germany and the Netherlands are starting to order them because they know that they work and it offers a true solution to the testing problem.

“We are confident that it can really make a difference to the UK.

“We have a game-changing product that can avoid another lockdown by mass testing.

“It’s impossible to fight a fire blindfolded, we have to massively scale up the testing around the world. We must implement rapid testing at every point of entry of the country, at every doctor’s office, at every school and regularly test people, until the pandemic finally slows down.

“We know that we have a testing problem in the world because we are relying on PCR tests which were not designed to detect Covid. Labs are overwhelmed and can’t keep up with the demand anymore. Medakit antigens and antibody tests were solely designed to test Covid.

“Medakit has developed a comprehensive testing protocol that uses both antigenic and antibody tests to diagnose if someone have, or have ever had, Covid-19 within 15 minutes, with a 99 percent plus accuracy.

“It’s game changing and we’re ready to work with the UK government to make our life-saving technology available to the population as soon as possible”

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