FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — A new COVID-19 blood test is coming to Northwest Arkansas in the next week that will check for the virus antibodies.
At Namida Lab, they have been working on validating their antibody tests before they’re given the green light to start conducting tests in early May.
Before the COVID-19, the lab was readying a breast cancer screening test but paused that to focus on the pandemic at hand.
“Antibodies is what your body generates after it’s been exposed to the virus,” said Omid Mogadham.
Mogadham explains how beneficial the antibody test is if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
“It’s a simple blood draw,” Mogadham said.
As Mogadham said, the test is simple…participants send in a tube of their blood to be tested.
Scientists at the lab worked around the clock to create the test.
“Working day and night and weekends to get this thing to market,” Mogadham said.
A normal diagnostic test typically takes three to five years to make it to the market, but for the last five weeks, Namida scientists worked relentlessly to create a successful antibody test to provide for the Northwest Arkansas community.
But it’s not for everyone.
The tests will be available for big corporations and healthcare workers first.
“We being the center of food production and retail, we’re probably the area that needs it most because the nation counts on us for food and distribution of food so I think this is one place in the world that needs it most,” Rolph Wilkin said.
Wilkin says as a community member he’s excited to see the lab’s efforts in fighting COVID-19.
Namida Lab can run up to 3,000 samples to date and provide rush results within a day or two.