The company launched a home testing kit in March that detects antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and has now been given an assignment by the Swedish Public Health Agency.
“This is amazing news,” says Julia Wigren Byström, CEO of Xerum. “We will be responsible for the distribution and analysis of our self-sampling kits as part of a large study being conducted by the Swedish Public Health Agency to measure the number of people in the country who have developed antibodies.”
The aim of the study is to gain a deeper understanding of the spread of infection in the Swedish population, as well as the immune response that is triggered in the body following infection. The study is one of several being carried out by the Swedish Public Health Agency to gain an overall picture of the spread of infection in the country.
Taking blood samples at home
Some 4,500 individuals have been invited to participate in the study by taking blood samples at home. The blood is collected by pricking a finger and placing it on a filter paper that uses DBS (Dried Blood Spot) technology developed by Swedish company Capitainer.
“We have been commissioned to send out our testing kits and analyse if there are antibodies in the returned blood samples. We will use the validated analysis method that we previously developed in collaboration with Region Västerbotten. When the tests have been analysed, participants can log into www.direkttest.se to see their test results,” says Wigren Byström. “Testing at home means it can be done regardless of where you live, without risk of infection and without the intervention of healthcare staff. Our antibody test is excellent for self-sampling as only a small amount of blood is needed for analysis.”
To date Xerum has performed around 2,500 analyses for Region Västerbotten. Approximately 22 percent of these have been positive for SARS-CoV antibodies.
Photo of Julia Wigren Byström, CEO of Xerum: Emil Byström