COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) INDICAID®, developed by Hong Kong biotechnology start-up PHASE Scientific International Limited (PHASE), has been named by the government as one of the designated rapid tests when care homes resume visitation today. The endorsement came after the Food and Health Bureau’s satisfactory audit of INDICAID’s community dual-track pilot results.
On 30 April 2021, the Social Welfare Department announced the conditional resumption of visits to residential care homes for the elderly and residential care homes for persons with disabilities and designated INDICAID® as one of the three (the other two are Roche Diagnostics and Abbott Laboratories), and the only locally developed, COVID-19 RAT to be used by the visitors. To gain entry to these facilities, visitors that are fully vaccinated may present their negative COVID-19 RAT results within 24-hour prior to the visit.
Dr. Ricky Chiu Yin-to, Founder and CEO of PHASE Scientific, welcomes the official endorsement of INDICAID® RAT. “While rapid antigen test is not a substitute of the gold-standard PCR test, its lower cost and ease-of-use are conducive to more frequent testing and faster results, which are critical to outbreak prevention and control. According to US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), serial antigen testing conducted weekly is able to offset the lower sensitivity of antigen tests while delivering advantages that PCR testing-only cannot provide, despite the higher sensitivity of the latter.” Dr Chiu sees it as an important step for policymakers and the community to support wider adoption of RAT particularly in helping resume socioeconomic activities and ‘normalcy’ in steps.
INDICAID® COVID-19 rapid antigen test is a CE-marked lateral flow immunoassay designed for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigens in direct nasal swab samples. It is developed in Hong Kong with reliable product quality and is easy-to-use, with no special equipment or facilities needed. Results are available fast within 20 minutes, and are clinically validated with world’s largest dual-track testing with over 9,200 samples with high sensitivity and specificity. INDICAID® has been widely adopted in hospitals, government and private corporations, supermarkets, hotels and schools for regular screening in Hong Kong and overseas. INDICAID® is currently available in 33 countries, and in the process of obtaining approval for emergency use authorization by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).