AN Essex-based business has signed a contract to manufacture Covid-19 antibody tests.

Europlaz Technologies, based in Southminster, will being making antibody test kits for ongoing Covid-19 tests and immunity research.

The existing Covid-19 swab test currently being used by the Government and health services can detect whether a person has the virus at that moment in time.

It cannot tell whether a person has had the virus previously and since recovered.

The swab tests also take some time to generate a result, whilst antibody tests can provide almost immediate results about whether or not a person potentially has or ever has had Covid-19.

Europlaz chairman Eddie O’Keeffe said: “Thanks to our state-of-the-art resources, Europlaz will be able to physically put the components of the test kits together in approximately 20-30 seconds during the manufacturing process, potentially allowing us to manufacture millions of devices.

“We are incredibly proud to be involved in such a significant project protecting the health of our nation through the Covid-19 testing process and we look forward to seeing health services and individuals reap the benefits of antibody test kits.”

Europlaz says it was selected to manufacture the test kits for several reasons, including their fast response to the initial approach, their expertise in medical device manufacturing and a demonstrable track record of engineering highly technical devices.

Europlaz also had the capacity to manufacture the kits within their facilities, having just built two additional special ‘clean rooms’ – the industry standard for manufacturing medical devices

The firms says the test will also help gain a greater understanding of Covid-19 immunity and assist with vaccine research.