Abbott Laboratories, which has been on the forefront of COVID-19 testing, is launching a blood test that shows whether someone has had the virus.
While the North Chicago, Ill., medical-device maker's two molecular tests are used to detect infection in real time, its new antibody test detects previous infections, the company said in a statement today.
Abbott aims to distribute 4 million antibody tests this month, with the goal of ramping up to 20 million tests per month in the U.S. in June, the statement says.
Antibody testing "will provide more understanding of the virus, including how long antibodies stay in the body and if they provide immunity," the statement says. "This type of knowledge could help support the development of treatments and vaccines."
The news comes as the University of Chicago Medicine and other researchers launch clinical trials to study plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients as a possible treatment for the virus.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross recently called for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma that could help current patients.
Abbott's first COVID-19 test launched March 18, followed by its five-minute test March 27.
This article was originally published in Crain's Chicago Business.