Leading testing company LabCorp is offering a “no charge” antibody COVID-19 testing program in the hope it will boost blood plasma donations.
A number of biopharmas, including the likes of Takeda, are hoping to use donated blood plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 and tap their antibodies as a potential therapy for the disease.
It hopes that by offering a test for free, this will boost uptake and deepen the plasma pool, offering potential new vehicles for treatments in the future.
“Beginning today for the next three months, LabCorp will perform the high-affinity antibody test at no charge to patients, insurance companies or the government,” it said in a statement.
In the small print, that no-charge testing program will use only the Roche Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2, authorized under an FDA emergency use authorization (EUA), but does not apply to other COVID-19 antibody tests, such as the IgG test.
Once tested, patients can get their results via the LabCorp Patient portal and through their doctor. The CDC and state public health agencies will also get their hands on the data “to further support COVID-19 surveillance and response efforts.”
“Many people have antibodies and are unaware that they could potentially use them to help save lives. LabCorp is offering antibody tests at no charge through a patient’s doctor to make it easier for more people to know if they should consider giving plasma,” said Adam Schechter, chairman and CEO of LabCorp.
“If you have antibodies and donate your plasma, you are helping the fight against the pandemic,” he added.