IZMIR, Turkey 

A medical equipment company in western Turkey launched sales of a coronavirus antigen test, produced using indigenous antibodies.

Turklab, founded 25 years ago in the Aegean province of Izmir, has developed an antigen test, alternative to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, in its studies on the virus.

The test has a sensitivity of over 95% according to the company officials.

“Importing antibodies costs a significant amount,” said Kartal Yaglidere, the company’s general manager, stressing that with this product, they help preventing dependence on imported antibodies.

Pointing out that the company’s priority is to meet the needs of Turkey, he said they currently have sufficient capacity, and with the test, burden on hospitals and labs will be relieved.

The test, which is over 90% indigenous, gives results without the need for a lab to detect a protein associated with COVID-19.

The swab sample taken from throat and nose is rubbed into the tube in the test kit and the result appears in five minutes after the solution is dropped.

The antigen kit, approved by the Turkish Health Ministry, is also exported.

The company in April had developed an antibody test as well and sold it to 50 countries.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin in Ankara

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