Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ: QDEL) (“Quidel”), a leading provider of rapid diagnostic testing solutions, cellular-based virology assays and molecular diagnostic systems, announced today that it has received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), allowing the company to market its new QuickVue® At-Home COVID-19 Test for the qualitative detection of the nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2. This test is authorized for prescription home use with self-collected (unobserved) anterior nares (NS) swab specimens directly from individuals aged 14 years and older who are suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider within the first six days of the onset of symptoms. This test is also authorized for prescription home use with adult-collected anterior NS samples directly from individuals aged 8 years or older who are suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider within the first six days of the onset of symptoms.
Quidel has provided rapid COVID-19 testing through doctors and health care providers throughout the pandemic, manufacturing and shipping millions of Sofia® tests last year. Now, Quidel’s QuickVue® At-Home COVID-19 Test will allow patients with a prescription to easily perform the test themselves and get results in 10 minutes. The QuickVue® At-Home COVID-19 Test shows excellent performance, with positive results agreeing with PCR 84.8% of the time, and negative results agreeing 99.1% of the time, delivering confidence to patients running the test and facilitating informed discussions with doctors.
“Quidel’s employees have truly risen to the challenge of the SARS pandemic. Our mission is to provide greater access to frequent, affordable and highly accurate diagnostic testing, and ultimately to enable individuals to take charge of their own health and help them make prudent decisions to protect themselves and their loved ones,” said Douglas Bryant, president and CEO of Quidel Corporation. “This is an important first step in a two-step process that, once additional ongoing studies are completed, will further expand access to frequent testing at home.”
The QuickVue® At-Home COVID-19 Test employs the same Quidel lateral flow technology used for decades by healthcare professionals and features the same SARS CoV-2 rapid antigen test strip and reagent solution that received an EUA from the FDA for use in professional settings in December 2020. Quidel’s contract with the National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative was expanded in late 2020 to include the QuickVue At-Home COVID-19 test, which expedited its emergency use authorization.
Quidel recently started the buildout of a new manufacturing facility in Carlsbad, CA. The 128,000 square foot facility is expected to be the company’s highest-volume production facility and begin operations in the second half of 2021, initially with a mission to produce more than 50 million QuickVue® rapid antigen tests per month, or 600 million tests per year at full capacity.
“The flexibility of our QuickVue® At-Home COVID-19 Test for meeting the urgent testing needs of individuals at home will save time and enable doctors and telemedicine providers to determine appropriate treatments without exposing their staff and other patients to heightened risk of infection,” Mr. Bryant noted. “We hope to bring the benefits of this technology to more broadly serve consumers, school systems, businesses and remote communities in the near future.”
Quidel’s QuickVue® brand launched in 1986 with visually read rapid diagnostics focusing on women’s health and respiratory diseases. In 1999, QuickVue® Influenza A+B was the first visually read rapid test approved by the FDA for professional use. QuickVue® was also the first flu test cleared by the FDA for use in CLIA-Waived point-of-care facilities like doctors’ offices, urgent care clinics and pharmacies. Today, QuickVue® is a market leading platform in the professional segment for visually diagnosing Influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, Strep A and a variety of other illnesses. Since the launch of the QuickVue® brand into the professional segment, more than 150 million QuickVue® diagnostic tests have been sold.
The QuickVue At-Home COVID-19 Test is intended for self-use and/or, as applicable for an adult lay user testing another person aged 8 years or older in a non-laboratory setting. The QuickVue At-Home COVID-19 Test is only for use under the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization. The QuickVue® At-Home Covid-19 Test has not been FDA cleared or approved. The test has been authorized only for the detection of proteins from SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens, and is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the declaration is terminated or authorization is revoked sooner.
Throughout this pandemic, Quidel has been at the forefront of diagnostic innovation. From the company’s Lyra® PCR tests, to its Sofia® rapid antigen tests for COVID-19, to its Sofia® “ABC” combination test for the Influenza A+B and coronavirus, to its QuickVue® SARS Antigen test authorized for emergency use by the FDA for professional use and now available for at home prescription use, Quidel has significantly advanced the science and the scale of its operations.
Quidel was the first company to receive EUA from the FDA for a rapid point-of-care antigen test for COVID-19 and remains at the forefront of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
Sofia® 2 is Quidel’s best-selling cartridge-based, instrument-read rapid diagnostic system for infectious disease testing, which utilizes fluorescent chemistry design, an intuitive graphical user interface, and optics system to provide a highly accurate, objective and automated result in 15 minutes. The Sofia® 2 system also comes connected to Virena®, Quidel’s data management system, which provides aggregated, de-identified testing data to public health authorities in near real-time. In 2020, the company increased the installed base of Sofia® diagnostic instruments to more than 65,000 point-of-care locations.
In 2020, Quidel quickly increased its production of Sofia® rapid antigen tests from approximately 500,000 units per week in March to over 2 million tests per week in December. This year, Quidel is building additional production lines with a goal to reach a run-rate of over 240 million Sofia® tests per year by the third quarter of 2021.
Quidel’s QuickVue® and Sofia® SARS Antigen test kits are made in the greater San Diego metropolitan area of California.
This project is supported by the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics – Advanced Technology Platforms (RADx-ATP) program and has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. 75N92020C00013.
About Quidel Corporation
Quidel Corporation (Nasdaq: QDEL) is a leading manufacturer of diagnostic solutions at the point of care, delivering a continuum of rapid testing technologies that further improve the quality of health care throughout the globe. An innovator for over 40 years in the medical device industry, Quidel pioneered the first FDA-cleared point-of-care test for influenza in 1999 and was the first to market a rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen test in the U.S. Under trusted brand names Sofia®, Solana®, Lyra®, Triage® and QuickVue®, Quidel’s comprehensive product portfolio includes tests for a wide range of infectious diseases, cardiac and autoimmune biomarkers, as well as a host of products to detect COVID-19. With products made in America, Quidel’s mission is to provide patients with immediate and frequent access to highly accurate, affordable testing for the good of our families, our communities and the world. For more information about Quidel, visit quidel.com.
View our story told by our people at www.quidel.com/ourstory
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws that involve material risks, assumptions and uncertainties. Many possible events or factors could affect our future results and performance, such that our actual results and performance may differ materially from those that may be described or implied in the forward-looking statements. As such, no forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Differences in actual results and performance may arise as a result of a number of factors including, without limitation: the impact and duration of the COVID-19 global pandemic; competition from other providers of diagnostic products; our ability to accurately forecast demand for our products and products in development, including in new market segments; our ability to develop new technologies, products and markets and to commercialize new products; our reliance on sales of our COVID-19 and influenza diagnostic tests; our reliance on a limited number of key distributors; quantity of our product in our distributors’ inventory or distribution channels; changes in the buying patterns of our distributors; the financial soundness of our customers and suppliers; lower than anticipated market penetration of our products; third-party reimbursement policies and potential cost constraints; our ability to meet demand for our products; interruptions, delays or shortages in the supply of raw materials, components and other products and services; failures in our information technology and storage systems; our exposure to data corruption, cyber-based attacks, security breaches and privacy violations; international risks, including but not limited to, economic, political and regulatory risks; continuing worldwide political and social uncertainty; our development, acquisition and protection of proprietary technology rights; intellectual property risks, including but not limited to, infringement litigation; the loss of Emergency Use Authorizations for our COVID-19 products and failures or delays in receipt of reviews or regulatory approvals, clearances or authorizations for new products or related to currently-marketed products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”) or other regulatory authorities or loss of any previously received regulatory approvals, clearances or authorizations or other adverse actions by regulatory authorities; our contracts with government entities involve future funding, compliance and possible sanctions risks; product defects; changes in government policies and regulations and compliance risks related thereto; our ability to manage our growth strategy and successfully identify, acquire and integrate potential acquisition targets or technologies and our ability to obtain financing; our acquisition of Alere’s Triage® business presents certain risks to our business and operations; the level of our deferred payment obligations; our exposure to claims and litigation that could result in significant expenses and could ultimately result in an unfavorable outcome for us, including the ongoing litigation between us and Beckman Coulter, Inc.; we may need to raise additional funds to finance our future capital or operating needs; our debt, deferred and contingent payment obligations; competition for and loss of management and key personnel; business risks not covered by insurance; changes in tax rates and exposure to additional tax liabilities or assessments; and provisions in our charter documents and Delaware law that might delay or impede stockholder actions with respect to business combinations or similar transactions. Forward-looking statements typically are identified by the use of terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “might,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “intend,” “goal,” “project,” “strategy,” “future,” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. The risks described in reports and registration statements that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, should be carefully considered, including those discussed in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in our Annual Report on Form 10‑K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and in our subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10‑Q. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect management’s analysis only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly release any revision or update of these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.