A local medical company is leading the fight against COVID-19. On June 25, Austin-based Babson Diagnostics announced it had received emergency approval from the Food & Drug Administration for its SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test.
The blood test helps determine whether a person has an “adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2” [aka COVID-19]”By testing for antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that help fight off infection and usually provide immunity, although the Centers for Disease Control warn that this is not yet known for COVID-19 antibodies.
“Not only is serology a critical tool in researching and understanding COVID-19, we believe it will become an integral part of ongoing preventive medicine,” said Eric Olson, Founder and CEO of Babson, in a press release. “The early success of our tests, combined with our ongoing clinical trials and research partnerships, will provide critical insights into COVID-19 immunity and help us develop future generations of tests.”
Babson is one of only five clinical laboratories to have received FDA emergency approval for a serological (blood) test, including the prestigious Mount Sinai Laboratory – Wadsworth Center in New York.
Since Babson started his test in Austin on April 30, he’s been offering it free to frontline and healthcare workers. It also works with research centers, including Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, to conduct clinical trials to help with COVID-19 research and future pandemics.
“By the time COVID-19 reached the US and eventually Austin, the Babson team was inspired to help fight one of the greatest threats to global health in generations,” said Chris DiPasquale, director of assay development at Babson. “While the start of the aC19G1 test was a significant achievement for Babson, it is only the first step in supporting long-term public health and national security.”