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Abbott Labs seeking to expand FDA authorization for rapid COVID test

August 28, 2020

Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) has trials underway for its rapid COVID-19 test to determine whether it could effectively be used on asymptomatic people, CEO Robert Ford tells CNBC.

Abbott this week received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its new test, which it says will sell for $5 and can produce results in 15 minutes similar to a pregnancy test, but the FDA OK is limited in scope: It can be used only within seven days of someone showing coronavirus symptoms and in consultation with a health care provider, meaning it is not authorized to test pre-symptomatic people or those without symptoms.

“We are working on developing data for asymptomatic claims so we are running our clinical trial and we’ll eventually have data to be able to support that,” Ford says.

The U.S. government secured a ~$750M deal for 150M of Abbott’s tests, with hopes of deploying them to nursing homes, schools or other high-risk populations.

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