Health Canada approves new, rapid mobile test for COVID-19

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A new COVID-19 test described as the first “truly mobile, rapid PCR test for COVID-19” will soon be hitting the Canadian market.

Spartan Bioscience, based in Ottawa, announced today that it received approval from Health Canada to begin selling the Spartan COVID-19 System — a rapid, on-site molecular diagnostic test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.

The company says it offers the speed and ease of use of a rapid test while using the technology of lab-based testing solutions.

“During the clinical evaluation completed in Canada and the U.S., Spartan's rapid on-site COVID-19 test was compared to one of the most sensitive lab-based COVID-19 tests on the market,” Spartan reported.

Spartan says the system will be able to provide quality results to remote communities, industries and settings with limited lab access, help relieve the burden on overwhelmed healthcare facilities, and enable Canadians to respond to current and future outbreaks.

Demand for the test will also create over 250 Canadian jobs directly and indirectly, the company added.

"We want to thank our government and commercial partners for their patience, and trusting us to create a rapid RT-PCR testing option as part of Canada's public health response," said Spartan CEO Roger Eacock.

"Readily deployed, rapid testing systems for COVID-19 are still needed across Canada, and will continue to be needed throughout 2021, even as vaccines begin to roll out. Slowing COVID-19 and re-opening the economy requires more testing, and Spartan is proud that our tests which have been researched, developed, and manufactured right here in Canada are now available."

While it’s currently unknown when the new rapid tests will arrive in Ontario, production has already begun, with shipments to begin immediately to federal and provincial government partners as well as Spartan's commercial customers.

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