The CareStart Covid-19 Antigen test kit developed by Access Bio, Somerset, NJ, using Asahi Kasei’s NanoAct cellulose nanobeads, received emergency use authorization (EUA) from FDA, and is now available for sale in the United States.

Asahi Kasei, Tokyo, developed NanoAct colored cellulose nanobeads by utilizing its core technology of cellulose processing. They are currently used as labels for lateral flow immunochromatographic assays, mainly for influenza. NanoAct was adopted by Access Bio for use in CareStart Covid-19 Ag as it is available in a wide range of colors and enables better visibility of test lines, which improves usability.

The continuing spread of covid-19 has raised the importance of rapid screening. Demand for rapid test kits is rising because, unlike polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, they require no special equipment. Access Bio Inc developed CareStart Covid-19 Ag to rapidly detect antigens of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes covid-19.

Clinical evaluations indicate that CareStart Covid-19 Ag provides a sensitivity of 88.4% and specificity of 100%, which is comparable to reverse transcription (RT)-PCR testing. Furthermore, CareStart Covid-19 Ag provides results in 10 minutes while PCR generally takes 1 or 2 days. In addition, the availability of NanoAct in multi-color variation enables different colors to be shown, such as blue for the test line (T) and red for the control line (C), which allows easier judgment as a user-friendly test kit.

CareStart Covid-19 Ag has also obtained CE Mark certification, and it is scheduled to be launched in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

In addition to various diagnostic test kits for covid-19 and influenza, NanoAct is also expected to be used in multi-testing kits that enable simultaneous testing for several infectious diseases. Such kits are increasingly being developed by many diagnostic kit manufacturers in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Asahi Kasei will continue to leverage NanoAct technology to help prevent the spread of covid-19 and other infectious diseases.

For more information, visit Access Bio and Asahi Kasei