The Trump administration has awarded Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) a potential $760M contract to provide 150M rapid COVID-19 diagnostics tests.
The Food and Drug Administration issued on Wednesday an emergency use authorization to the Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Point of Care SARS-CoV-2 test, which can provide results within 15 minutes without the need for instrumentation, the Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday.
The antigen test involves the use of nasal swabs and could be administered by medical staff in CLIA certified-environments.
“By strategically distributing 150 million of these tests to where they’re needed most, we can track the virus like never before and protect millions of Americans at risk in especially vulnerable situations,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
The U.S. government plans to field the testing kits to schools and those “serving other special needs populations.”