ABT Stock Down 2%, Abbott Laboratories COVID-19 Antibody Test Approved by UK Authorities

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by Andy Watson · 3 min read
ABT Stock Down 2%, Abbott Laboratories COVID-19 Antibody Test Approved by UK Authorities
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Coronavirus antibody test offered by Abbott Laboratories was approved in England and Wales. Meanwhile, ABT stock is down.

The fight against COVID-19 got a boost with the approval of the Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) antibody test. The company got the nod from public health bodies in England and Wales. This would enable testing centers across the country to have access to the company’s testing kits which was reported to return specificity higher than 99.73 percent.

Meanwhile, despite the positive news, Abbott Laboratories (ABT) stock is at $89.87, which means that the stock is falling by 2.06%. However, ABT is still at the highest level in its history. And there are chances that it will continue its movement up.

Abbott’s test is sensitive to a protein produced by the body of infected persons at the later stage of the infection. Medical experts pronounced that this specific protein would be detected by the test even after many months of infection and may actually remain in the body of affected people years after they have recovered from the disease.

Allegation of Abbott Test Inaccuracy

Health authorities are anxious to have access to quicker tests that are also effective in detecting the disease. The UK earlier this month approved an antibody test kit developed by Roche Holding AG.

Despite the recent approval for Abbott’s antibody test in the UK, there have been concerns about its effectiveness. According to a study conducted by the New York University Langone School of Medicine, Abbott’s test may not be as effective as initially presumed. It stated that the antibody test may actually give carriers a false sense of security by returning negative to COVID-19 positive persons.

The report stated that one-third of tests that were detected by Cepheid’s tests utilizing dry swabs were completely missed by the Abbott test. It added that the same underperformance was noticed with nasopharyngeal swabs which involve deeper nasal insertions.

Reacting to the criticisms, Scott Stoffel, a spokesperson for Abbott said that the study has not shown consistency in comparison to similar ones conducted on the company’s product. He noted that the samples which resulted in discrepancies reported may not have been taken correctly.

“These results are not consistent with other studies of the test,” said Stoffel.

5 Million Monthly Tests

Abbott Laboratories had earlier announced that its testing kits would facilitate 5 million tests in the UK every month. It is not clear how effective the results of those tests would be and what impact it would have on the fight against the virus. With the approval given by UK health authorities, the company has already commenced shipping of its kits to National Health Service Laboratories.

Considering damning reports coming from the study such as:

“The fact that it misses positive samples on patients being admitted to the hospital with clinical picture of COVID19 makes this technology unacceptable in our clinical setting.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which had earlier given emergency approval to Abbott’s testing products has raised concerns over its reliability.

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Andy Watson
Author Andy Watson

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