LONDON, Dec. 21, 2020
LONDON, Dec. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Demand from UK businesses for AlphaBiolabs' Covid-19 lateral flow antigen testing kit has soared ahead of the new year.
The test, which works in a similar fashion to a pregnancy test can detect the presence of Covid-19 within just 15 minutes, giving employers a way to identify contagious staff before they risk passing it on to colleagues.
The lateral flow antigen test can detect an active case of Covid-19 after the onset of symptoms or from 14 days after initial exposure to the virus.
The specialist testing company launched the test in September and has been swamped with orders ever since.
David Thomas, managing director of AlphaBiolabs, said the kit has become the company's best-selling Covid-19 test as businesses seek to screen their staff without having to wait for the results to become available following laboratory analysis.
It works by identifying specific proteins, known as antigens, which are situated on the cell membranes of the virus.
The individually packaged kit, which can only be sold for professional or business use, is outselling AlphaBiolabs' back-to-lab PCR coronavirus test by a factor of more than 10 to one.
David said sales of the lateral flow antigen kit during November and December combined were over 70 per cent higher than those in September and October, and orders for January are rocketing as employers gear up for a fresh surge in Covid-19 testing programmes when staff return to work after the festive period.
The rapid lateral flow antigen test is carried out on-site by taking samples from the nose and throat. The result is then displayed via a portable immunoassay screening cassette.
David said: "Businesses across the UK are clearly trying to manage and navigate their operations in a proactive manner.
"Orders for January are extremely high, amid concerns of a third wave of the virus in the new year as a result of people socialising with family and friends at Christmas.
"Employers are concerned that staff may have been exposed to the virus and could be about to bring a Covid viral infection into the workplace, and they are looking at effective testing programmes to protect their businesses and workforce."
David said demand for the AlphaBiolabs lateral flow Covid-19 screening kits are highest in industries where people cannot work from home and are in contact with others in the workplace. These include manufacturing, engineering, energy, warehousing, transport, infrastructure, construction, film and TV production.
"There is a real commitment among employers to keep Covid-19 out of the workplace as much as possible," he added.
"The PCR, lab-based test is classed as the gold standard in Covid-19 testing, but it is more expensive to implement than the rapid antigen test and the results take longer to come through.
"We didn't expect demand for the lateral flow screening kit to outstrip the PCR test by over 10 to one but, when you consider the high performance, reduced cost and added convenience of an instant result, it is probably not too surprising amid the general desire for business continuity."
Notes to editors
Photographs of David Thomas are attached along with images of the Covid-19 lateral flow testing kit's screening cassette.
AlphaBiolabs provides DNA, drug, alcohol and Covid-19 (SARS CoV 2) testing services to a client base which includes members of the public, businesses, family and immigration law solicitors, social services, the media and universities. The company, founded in 2004, is based in Warrington, where it has one of the largest laboratories of its kind in Europe.
It was the first UKAS ISO 17025 accredited laboratory to introduce a next-day DNA testing service, which helped earn AlphaBiolabs a Queen's Award for Innovation in 2016. The laboratory has also developed state-of-the-art techniques to provide an accurate historical record of drug or alcohol abuse. Hair strands, oral fluids, urine and nails can all be tested. It also offers continuous alcohol monitoring with its SCRAM CAM® alcohol-testing bracelet.
AlphaBiolabs has walk-in centres in north and south London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Preston and Warrington. Visit www.alphabiolabs.co.uk for more information.