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Pennsylvania Biotech Center launches test for COVID antibodies

State funding will provide for marketing

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A new test that can measure a person’s antibodies to COVID-19 was launched Tuesday at the Bucks County Biotechnology Center in Buckingham.
VaxEffect, developed by FlowMetric Inc., can determine and track, over time, an individual’s immune response to any of the COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States, said John Healey, a FlowMetric board member, during a press conference at the biotech center.
Pennsylvania state Sen. Steve Santasiero (D-10) presented the life sciences firm with a $750,000 check to continue its efforts to market VaxEffect. Calling it “one of the most significant” investments for the state, Santasiero said, the money will help create jobs, address health care and further the county’s mission to build a robust biotech corridor in Bucks. State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-7) co-sponsored the grant.
Flow Metric’s general manager and executive vice president, Dr. Grant Morgan, said, VaxEffect is a serology test designed to differentiate between antibodies from infection caused from contracting COVID-19 and antibodies created by a vaccine.
“With simple, repeat testing, changes in these antibody levels can be tracked over time … to better inform vaccine-based health care decisions and to support the optimal use of booster vaccinations as they become available,” said Morgan.

Patients with immune compromised conditions such as cancer, diabetes, auto-immune disorders and those who are immunosuppressed due to organ transplantation may not have a strong first response to a vaccine. VaxEffect can help determine how their immune system is responding to a vaccine and help a doctor and patient decide if further protection from COVID-19 is needed, said Morgan.
Initially, the test will be available through a health care provider. The first test is $119, subsequent tests will cost $99, FlowMetric officials said.
VaxEffect has not been reviewed or approved by the FDA. The FDA determined that such review or approval was not necessary.
The test is a Laboratory Developed Test that has been developed and validated by FlowMetrics, which is a CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited High Complexity Laboratory.


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