Technology firm Smiths Group mentioned on Wednesday that is is going to help produce a blood-based coronavirus or COVID-19 antibody tray approved by the healthcare regulator of Britain, another move by the firm for developing products to combat the pandemic.

The company which is based in the UK makes a range of technology from baggage screeners to explosives detectors, has in theMarch postponed a long-sought separation of the medical unit to focus on making and developing ventilators to the UK as a part of a consortium.

Smiths Group to Help Produce COVID-19 Antibody

Coronavirus
Mobile photo taken on Feb. 14, 2020 shows Gao Yongzhe and Huang Wenli adjusting goggles and masks for each other at "Wuhan Livingroom" in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province. Doctor Gao Yongzhe and nurse Huang Wenli are a couple working at the frontline against the novel coronavirus. Although they both spend all day at "Wuhan Livingroom", a temporary hospital, the busy couple barely had time to meet each other. On Feb. 14, under the arrangement of the hospital, the couple met and had a lunch together. As Huang put it, it was their special and meaningful 23rd Valentine's Day even though there was no flower and gift. (Photo by Gao Xiang/Xinhua/IANS) Xinhua/IANS

London-listed Smiths said it had agreed with biopharmaceutical firm Attomarker, for an undisclosed amount, to make its portable, triple antibody test device at unit Smiths Detection's site in Hemel Hempstead, England. Attomarker, spun off from the University of Exeter, focuses on making blood-testing devices that detect biomarkers.

Its test for the new coronavirus will look for three virus proteins and three types of antibodies, which are the body's natural defense to fight infections. Smiths said the COVID-19 device, approved by Britain's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for use by the National Health Service, can deliver results in about seven minutes, with a sensitivity of up to 96 percent.

The company said it had been in talks with Attomarker since April to develop, design and test performance, adding that it had the ability to scale production as per demand. Other firms making antibody tests for the respiratory illness include Roche and Abbott.

(With agency inputs)