AN IRISH firm is developing a Covid-19 antigen test that could be on the market very soon.
Assay Genie - a Dublin-based life science reagents firm - says they are very close to providing rapid Covid tests to pharmacies in Ireland and will be looking to sell them up to seven times cheaper than other tests currently on the market.
The tests, which apparently only take 15 minutes to deliver results, work at an accuracy rate of between 92% and 98%, and they could be available for as little as €15.
"What the tests do is essentially determine if someone has the virus within 15 minutes," Assay Genie CEO Colm Ryan told the Irish Independent.
"It's a rapid alternative to PCR testing and allows people to quickly determine if they are positive or negative.
"It's a nasal swab. You could go to a pharmacy, or have the test sent to your house, get a swab, wait 15 minutes and you get your results.
"Pharmacists are really interested in this test," Mr Ryan said.
"If affordable rapid testing is rolled out, if everyone did a test and people put their hands up and said they have Covid-19 - and everyone with it isolates for 13 days - then technically the virus could be gone or down to zero or close to zero."
"It's about getting the R number down to zero.
"I believe it's manageable to get Covid down to that level - it's what we're aiming for," he added.
The company is also providing scientists in Ireland and across the globe with the raw materials for Covid-19 vaccine production.
"We launched a range of components, or reagents," Mr Ryan said. "Essentially they are raw materials for vaccine development for scientists or immunologists.
"What vaccine scientists need are little bits of the virus, so that humans will ultimately generate an antibody response and what they do is they get our little bits of the virus, such as spike protein - and they try to develop the vaccine.
Mr Ryan added that he thought a Covid-19 vaccine will likely be rolled out in January of next year.