Adaptive Biotech COVID Blood Test Cleared for Emergency Use

Adaptive Biotech shares advanced after its T-Detect COVID blood test received emergency-use authorization from the FDA.
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Adaptive Biotechnologies  (ADPT) - Get Report shares advanced after its T-Detect COVID blood test received emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

The Seattle company 's T-Detect test confirmed 97.1% of recent or prior COVID-19 infections, with 100% specificity in a recent study, the Seattle biotech said in a Friday statement.

T-Detect COVID is "the first indication in an entirely new class of tests that use T cells in the blood to detect disease," Chief Executive Chad Robins said. 

"People who have been unsure about a prior infection will now have another way to know if they had the virus.” 

The FDA provides emergency-use authorization to medical products that diagnose, treat or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases, where no approved alternatives are available. 

T cells are the immune system's first responders to detect any virus. Adaptive's test uses those cells to determine whether someone has or has had COVID-19, which is responsible for nearly 60,000 deaths in the U.S. over the past 12 months. 

Research shows that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies decline over time, so T cells are the better option for detecting the disease.  

In 2018, Adaptive teamed with Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report to build a map of the immune system, called the TCR-Antigen map, to map T-cell receptor sequences to disease-associated antigens. 

"We have proven that it is possible to read how T cells detect disease in the blood, and this is just the beginning of a pipeline of tests for many other indications," Robins said on Friday. 

Adaptive Biotech shares at last check were 6.6% higher at $46. The stock was down nearly 30% year to date through Friday's session.