Shares in specialist diagnostic provider Immunodiagnostic Systems (IDH:AIM) shot 25% higher on Friday after announcing the launch of two Covid-19 test kits which can turnaround results within 15 minutes.
The tests can be performed in the community, such as in schools and doctors’ surgeries, by trained healthcare professionals without the need for specialist laboratory equipment.
By 10am, the stock had surged from 200p to 258p, although back from the 314p levels in early deals.
HOW DOES THE TEST WORK
The test kits developed by Immunodiagnostic Systems are based on traditional ‘lateral flow’ technology designed to detect a substance (in this case Covid-19) in a liquid sample. It is used in pregnancy test kits, for example.
This makes the test easy to use with rapid results turnaround. One kit design comes in a cassette format, another in a test card format. Results are provided within 15 minutes after taking a nasal swab.
The accuracy of both tests is very high at around 99.2%, which means that the tests correctly identify almost all individuals who do not have the virus with only a few false positives.
The sensitivity is slightly lower with the cassette at 96.7% and the test card at 92%. This means that the test card will correctly identify 92% of people who have the virus but will return a negative result for 6% who have the virus, called a false negative.
Both tests are available for sale in the UK and EU and any country which accepts the CE mark as a basis for approval.
With more mass testing likely following the successful experiment in Liverpool, community-based tests which produce rapid results is welcome news for the government’s track and trace programme.