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Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots. (Photo: Hannah A Bullock & Azaibi Tamin, CDC)

Henry Schein announces further efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic

By Dental Tribune USA
April 02, 2020

MELVILLE, N.Y.— Henry Schein Inc. announced it will serve as the exclusive distributor in the United States of a second point-of-care rapid test kit that can detect antibodies associated with COVID-19 in as few as 15 minutes.

“Henry Schein is committed to bringing essential products to the health-care professionals who are fighting the pandemic,” said Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Henry Schein. “During this unprecedented crisis, health-care professionals need rapid diagnostic tools and personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect their safety and the safety of the population. In conjunction with our suppliers, we are determined to make these essential products available.”

Working with BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, and BioMedomics, a privately held North Carolina-based clinical diagnostics company, Henry Schein will make the test kits available to health-care professionals as part of the company’s broad offering of point-of-care rapid tests.

The BioMedomics test analyzes blood, serum or plasma samples for the presence of Immunoglobulin M (IgM) and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies associated with the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The test is completed in four simple steps. First, blood is collected through normal blood collection devices, and then a few drops are transferred to the test cartridge, followed by two to three drops of a buffer. The results can be read in 15 minutes.

“The BioMedomics serology test has been validated in numerous hospitals around the world and will be a critical tool to detect current or past exposure to COVID-19,” said Dave Hickey, president of Integrated Diagnostic Solutions for BD. “We are proud to work with Henry Schein, a leader in the point-of-care segment, to get these tests to health-care providers as quickly as possible.”

The agreement with BD and BioMedomics builds on Henry Schein’s announcement last week of an antibody rapid blood test, known as Standard Q COVID-19 IgM/IgG Rapid Test, which is also administered at the point-of-care and delivers results within 15 minutes from a pinprick with no instrumentation required.

“The COVID-19 rapid test kits are a part of Henry Schein’s response to the outbreak. These tests are important because they are fast and can be deployed where they are needed to help return our citizens to the workforce,” Bergman said. “We believe public health officials can also use these tests to better understand the spread of the disease.”

The company is also a participant in the White House’s COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force and has worked with the Strategic National Stockpile to deliver PPE to COVID-19 testing sites.

Henry Schein’s Brad Connett, president, U.S. Medical Group, participated in a meeting at the White House on March 29 of the COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force. As part of that effort, the company is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to source and deliver critical supplies quickly.

“Understandably, demand for test kits and PPE is acute, and the industry’s supply chain, as of today, is challenged to provide the volumes that customers require,” Connett said. “We are prioritizing shipments of these critical products for use by those health-care professionals on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

At the meeting, Connett also stressed the importance of increasing the manufacturing of PPE in the United States to avoid future shortages.

Henry Schein has a long-standing record of addressing pandemic preparedness and response. Among other efforts, Henry Schein is in direct contact with the World Health Organization and other multilateral and domestic organizations as part of the company’s role as the private-sector lead of the Pandemic Supply Chain Network, a public-private partnership created in 2015 to improve the efficiency of the supply chain for personal protective equipment.

To learn more about what Henry Schein is doing to address this unprecedented situation and the actions the company is taking to get more product into the hands of those who need it most — health care workers — please visit www.henryschein.com/COVID19update.

For customers interested in more information about the antibody rapid test kits, please contact Henry Schein at (844) 211-0140.

Current guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that results from antibody testing should not be used as the sole basis to diagnose or exclude coronavirus infection. Depending on the clinical scenario, additional testing may be considered to further evaluate the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The test has not been reviewed by the FDA but is permitted for distribution and use under the public health emergency guidance issued by the FDA on March 16.

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