FDA approves more than 100 COVID-19 tests; hundreds more in development

Hundreds of companies are racing to make tests that detect if someone has or has had COVID-19.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] said it’s been working with more than 400 test developers. So far, 104 tests have been authorized, including the approval of 12 COVID-19 serology tests, commonly known as antibody tests.

Those are meant to show if someone has previously been infected with the virus and has since recovered.

Scientists say antibody tests could show if a person is immune, though the World Health Organization cautions that immunity is not a guarantee yet and that studies are still underway.

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The FDA also approved 91 molecular tests that involve the swabs in the back of the nasal passage to determine if someone currently has the virus.

Earlier this month, the FDA also approved the first COVID-19 antigen test; it’s a new kind of test that is meant to get faster results.

Manufacturers and laboratories took part in a virtual town hall with the FDA on Wednesday and discussed the approval process for testing and the effectiveness of different methods.

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