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Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Roche signs agreement with Moderna for its COVID-19 antibody test

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Roche has formed a partnership with Moderna to use its Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S, or COVID-19, antibody test in Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine research trials.

The Roche tests will provide a quantitative measurement of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and help to establish a correlation between vaccine-induced protection and levels of anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) antibodies. Roche recently received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibody test.

“Roche values the collaboration with Moderna, which has already included the successful use of our qualitative Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 test, targeting the nucleocapsid protein, in an earlier part of the studies,” Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics, said. “We are pleased to see that our quantitative Elecsys SARS-CoV-2 S test, which targets the spike protein, is now also being used as part of the Moderna vaccine trials, which could ultimately help to end this pandemic.”

The Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 is an immunoassay for the qualitative, in vitro detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. It can detect antibodies to the coronavirus, which could signal whether a person has been already infected and potentially developed immunity to the virus.

Measuring the quantitative levels of anti-RBD SARS-CoV-2 antibodies will help Moderna gain insights into the correlation between protection from vaccination and antibody levels. This could help better assess if, or when, an individual needs revaccination. In other words, there is a benefit in knowing the starting levels of antibodies a person has, before vaccination, to evaluate any change in antibody levels that the vaccine induces.

Moderna’s mRNA-1237 vaccine candidate aims to induce an antibody response against the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Any potential vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 would work by triggering the immune response to develop neutralizing antibodies in the person receiving the vaccine. In doing so, the vaccine trains the body’s immune system to recognize and fight exposure to SARS-CoV-2.