Medtech firm Technomed will distribute what it claims is the world’s first rapid antigen self-testing kit for Covid-19, and it’s now available throughout the UK.

The company said the product, made by Chinese firm Xiamen Boson Biotech, will “directly support” the UK government’s plan for all UK adults to receive two rapid Covid-19 tests twice a week, as well as help to open the country up for foreign travel.

Technomed also claimed the product is up to 50% cheaper than other offerings in the market.

Technomed CEO Dr. Moritz Bubik said: “We are very proud to be able to supply the UK with the BOSON ‘Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test Card’ self-test, a high-quality product for containing and combating the pandemic.

“Products that contribute to pandemic containment must also offer proven quality, reliability, availability and affordability.”

The test, which has been awarded the EC certificate and approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has been cleared for use in the UK.

“Only with the full certification process can the quality and reliability that end users expects and deserves be demonstrated,” Bubik added.

The self-testing kit includes a swab used in the anterior nasal region to collect a sample, and once placed on the cassette, if there is a Covid-19 antigen in the extract, it will bind to the SARS-CoV-2 antibody on the test strip.

covid-19 self testing kit
BOSON Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test Card (Credit: Technomed)

According to Technomed, cassette will display a positive or negative result after approximately 15 minutes, and all currently-known mutations of the virus are detected.

The diagnostic approach is known as immunochromatography – more commonly referred to as a lateral flow test – and is the same one currently used in mass testing by UK councils since it was trialled in Liverpool in November last year.

At the time of that trial, questions were raised by some about the accuracy of lateral flow testing, which have remained a concern voiced by experts in the British Medical Journal.

According to Technomed, sales planning in the UK is already underway, with 20 million tests being produced each week in various types of packaging: the single pack, the 5-pack and a 20-pack.

The firm plans to continue to diversify its distribution channels, supplying public agencies, specialty and pharmaceutical distributors, as well as retailers.