York-based Abingdon Health's testing technology deployed to test impact of Long Covid

A York-based firm is to play a pivotal role in a nationwide study to monitor the long-term health impacts of Covid-19.

Abingdon Health is to provide its rapid antibody tests to the UK Biobank-run study to examine the effects of ‘long Covid’.

The largest study of its kind, some half million UK Biobank participants will be invited to receive a self- test kit to find out if they have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Abingdon’s AbC-19 Rapid Test is being utilised in phase two of the study, which initiated this month.

Abingdon Health
Abingdon Health

Participants will be sent the AbC-19™ test as part of a finger-prick home-testing kit, returning results within 20 minutes. The results can then be submitted via the UK Biobank website. The test results and questionnaire data provided by participants will be incorporated into the UK Biobank resource and made available to approved researchers for vital Covid-19 studies.

This unique dataset, combined with the genetic and lifestyle information already collected by UK Biobank and regular updates of health information, will allow researchers and scientists to study the potential long-term impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Professor Chris Molloy, independent chair of the UK-RTC, said: “Our consortium developed the AbC-19 test to enable large-scale, mass testing – providing rapid, accurate results for researchers and citizens alike.

“It is testament to its quality that AbC-19 is being used to support this national-scale research programme into the genetic and clinical risk factors for long Covid disease.

“We have much to learn about the role of antibodies in disease protection, and the long-term effects of the disease, which makes AbC-19 a critical tool today and into the future.”

Professor Naomi Allen, chief scientist of UK Biobank, said: “Much is known about the short-term effects of SARS-CoV-2, but very little is known about its longer-term health effects.

“The addition of information on which participants in UK Biobank have been infected will provide researchers across the world with a unique data set to assess any long-term health impacts of the virus. We are grateful to DHSC and Amazon for supporting this important study.”

Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome, said: “This latest study will reveal how past infection with SARS-CoV-2, which is often asymptomatic, and vaccination influence future susceptibility to infection and the health implications of those infections.

“It is only through the unique people and structure of UK Biobank – in particular, the 500,000 volunteer participants from across the UK – that these critical questions can be answered, questions that are so important for the UK and around the world.”