A kit invented by researchers in Singapore to detect whether someone has antibodies which neutralise the coronavirus has become the first of its kind to receive authorisation from the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a media report on Monday.
The FDA said on its website last Friday that it had given emergency use authorisation for the kit, known as cPass, reported The Straits Times on Monday.
The kit was invented by a team led by Professor Wang Linfa, director of Duke-National University of Singapore’s emerging infectious diseases programme, and co-developed with biotech company GenScript Biotech Corporation and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*Star) Diagnostics Development Hub (DxD Hub).
It can be used to see if vaccines work, check what proportion of the population has already been infected, and assist in contact tracing by enabling the health authorities to retrace the steps of the virus.
It does not require highly specialised equipment or training to use and returns results in just an hour.
Prof Wang told The Straits Times that the FDA’s approval was extremely significant not just for his team, but for Singapore as well.
“To have the FDA approval as the first and only commercial kit to determine neutralising antibodies for Sars-CoV-2 in the world is a very high bar to reach,” the daily quoted Professor Wang as saying.
“This is an incredible recognition for our team and the Singapore research and biotech landscape.
Meanwhile, Singapore reported eight imported Covid-19 cases on Monday, bringing the country’s infection tally to 58,064.
There have been no new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases for four consecutive days, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).