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Roche SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test to be Used in Moderna Vaccine Trials

NEW YORK – Roche announced Wednesday a partnership with Moderna to use its Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibody test in vaccine research trials for Moderna's mRNA-1273 vaccine. 

The test will be used to quantitatively measure SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and establish a correlation between vaccine-induced protection and levels of anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) antibodies, Roche said in a statement. Moderna's vaccine triggers an antibody response specifically to the RBD of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, the company added. Roche said its test could help physicians determine if a patient needs to be revaccinated and could establish vaccine efficacy in the prevention of infection and the development of severe COVID-19.

Roche's immunoassay received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration last month and measures the quantity of antibodies to the spike protein in serum and plasma samples. The test runs on the company's Cobas E analyzer, which can provide results in about 18 minutes and can run up to 300 tests per hour.

Another Roche antibody test, the qualitative Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 test targeting the nucleocapsid protein was used in earlier trials of Moderna's vaccine, Roche Diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker said in a statement.