As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues spreading around the globe, companies are stepping up to help fight the evolving threat.
Abbott is working to support communities worldwide with resources and technologies to keep people healthy. We're leveraging decades of experience tracking viruses, leadership in diagnostic tests, expertise in science-based nutrition, and a long history of providing humanitarian relief around the world.
Detecting the Virus with Diagnostics
Abbott has launched eight tests for COVID-19 all of which received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Our molecular tests, which help identify active infections, include the Alinity m molecular test and m2000 RealTime system, which conduct large-scale, high-volume testing in central laboratories and hospitals, and our point-of-care test that’s used on our lightweight ID NOW platform. The ID NOW test delivers positive test results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes and can be used in a wide range of settings, including physicians’ offices, urgent care clinics and hospital emergency departments.
As the virus begins multiplying, our rapid antigen test — BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card — detects antigens (proteins on the outside of the virus). This test, which helps identify active infections in 15 minutes when used to test individuals suspected of COVID-19, and is highly portable, easy-to-use and affordable, can be used in a number of near-patient settings outside the hospital.
People who test negative will get a temporary encrypted digital health pass with a QR code through our new, optional, first-of-its-kind NAVICA™ app, which is available at no charge for iPhone and Android devices. Organizations where people gather, such as workplaces and schools will be able to view and verify the information on a mobile device to facilitate entry into facilities along with hand-washing, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and mask-wearing.
Our antibody tests were designed to separately detect the IgG and IgM antibodies to SARS-COV-2. These proteins are produced in the body in the late stages of infection and may indicate that a person was previously infected. The tests run on Abbott’s Alinity i and ARCHITECT platforms.
"We continue to contribute in a significant and meaningful way by providing new solutions across our diagnostics testing platforms," said Robert B. Ford, president and chief executive officer, Abbott. "I'm extremely proud of the many Abbott people who are working around the clock to get as many tests as we can to healthcare workers and patients."
Abbott has long been a global leader in infectious disease testing, including the development of the first HIV test. The company created a Global Surveillance Program 25 years ago to monitor HIV and hepatitis viruses and identify mutations to ensure our tests remain up to date. Abbott also has a long-standing discovery program that identifies new or unknown pathogens and develops tests to address these new threats.
Providing Science-Based Nutrition
Beyond diagnostics, our scientists in nutrition are focused on creating products that will hydrate and nourish your body. Oral nutrition shakes, like Abbott's Ensure or Glucerna, can help supplement your diet when you need it most and contain nutrients that are key to immune system health, including antioxidants (such as vitamins C, E and selenium), vitamins A and D and zinc.
Hydration is another vital component for good health. But when you're sick, sometimes water's just not enough. Oral rehydration solutions, like our own Pedialyte, provide an optimal balance of electrolytes and glucose, to help replace what's lost during illness.
Caring for People with Diabetes
People with underlying health conditions such as diabetes have an increased risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, more than 50% of people with diabetes who were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the U.S. as of March 28 were hospitalized, according to a CDC report.
To help advance their care, Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre 14 day system can now be used in hospitals to remotely monitor glucose levels and glucose history of those with diabetes who can scan by themselves. To ramp up access to our continuous glucose monitoring technology, we’re partnering with the American Diabetes Association and other organizations to donate 25,000 FreeStyle Libre 14 day sensors to U.S. hospitals and medical centers in COVID-19 hotspots.
Maintaining Access to Our Technologies and Products
Every one of our 107,000 colleagues around the world understands the important role Abbott medical devices, diagnostics, medicines and nutrition products play in people's daily lives – and the responsibility we have to provide continued access when they're needed most. That's why we're continuing to monitor and closely manage inventory levels of finished products, key manufacturing components and critical raw materials at multiple levels throughout the manufacturing supply chain. While no one can predict the course of the pandemic, we're deeply experienced in successfully managing and minimizing disruption to our product supply.
Supporting Families and Health Workers
Our commitment goes beyond just scientific expertise. Families, frontline health workers and communities affected by the pandemic need support. That's why Abbott and its foundation, the Abbott Fund, are supporting relief efforts globally, providing millions in funding and products to help address key needs. This includes working with relief partner organizations to provide frontline health workers with training and resources to advance testing and care, supporting families with needed supplies and information for the prevention and care of COVID-19, and helping meet critical local needs in communities where our employees live and work.
Protecting Our People
As a healthcare company, Abbott has been designated as an essential business so we can continue providing an uninterrupted supply of vital diagnostics, medical devices, medicines and nutritional products to our customers. To help keep our own people safe, we've taken steps at our sites to limit exposure, implement social distancing and further enhance the safety of our facilities for the employees onsite.
We're also assisting Abbott families whose lives have been disrupted by COVID-19. The Clara Abbott Foundation provides financial grants to employees who are experiencing economic hardship resulting from unexpected expenses, such as loss of a family member's income, child care and transportation costs and medical expenses.
We're closely monitoring ongoing developments with coronavirus globally and will continue to assess and respond to needs in the days and months ahead.
This story was originally published on April 7, 2020. It was updated in April to include reference to our announcement on Abbott's launch of its third COVID-19 test, a laboratory-based antibody blood test and for our announcement on Abbott's FreeStyle Libre 14 day system becoming available in the U.S. for hospitalized patients with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was further updated on April 27, 2020 to include references that Abbott received U.S. FDA emergency use authorization and CE Mark for its antibody IgG blood test. It was updated May 15 to include Alinity i and Alinity m's EUA from the FDA. It was updated on August 26 to include reference to our announcement on Abbott's launch of its sixth COVID-19 test, a rapid antigen test and an optional companion mobile app. It was updated on November 11 to include references that Abbott received U.S. FDA emergency use authorization and CE Mark for its antibody IgM blood test . This story was originally published on April. 7, 2020, and updated on Dec. 16, 2020 to update the number of COVID-19 tests Abbott is producing.
The ID NOW COVID-19 EUA has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories and patient care settings. The test has been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.
The BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card EUA has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories. The test has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.
The AdviseDx SARS-CoV-2 IgM assay has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories. The test has been authorized only for the detection of the IgM antibody against SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.