Following news that the FDA has urged the US to bin Innova rapid COVID-19 tests that are widely used in the UK, the inevitable speculation has commenced that the UK government will follow suit and avoid another mega-billion pound deal with Innova.
Leading the charge is The Guardian who highlights the many pitfalls of the Innova rapid COVID-19 tests and subtly speculates that the FDA’s stance will be heeded by the MHRA and ultimately the UK Government:
“The MHRA’s special authorisation of the Innova test – which is repackaged and deployed by the NHS – is due for another review by 22 June.”The Guardian – Rapid Covid tests used in mass UK programme get scathing US report
As revealed yesterday, such news was music to the ears of shareholders in UK-based COVID-19 testing stocks such as Omega Diagnostics, Avacta and Abingdon Health who all enjoyed sizeable gains of late.
Moreover, the speculation has transpired onto social media, with unverified reports claiming the MHRA is reviewing the situation:
But interestingly or perhaps not, the DHSC has looked to save face and defend Innova test following its controversial request for special authorisation by the MHRA which it has long-documented concerns over.
And while media commentator Jon Deeks may not be every investor’s cup of tea, he rightfully blasts the DHSC’s political response to the matter (for once, we would all agree with him on this specific issue):
FDA withdrawal of Innova in the US— Jon Deeks FMedSci 💙 (@deeksj) June 11, 2021
DHSC response is here. Rather more could be done to convince us that they have taken the FDA's investigation seriously. This needs a proper risk assessment not repetition of rhetoric. pic.twitter.com/SaxvA8Bfis
Our view : science will beat the political games but its time for Britain to deliver
When the FDA says something is no good, it tends not to be.
The DHSC and UK government may look to deflect the situation in the short-term among a catalogue of errors but there seems little doubt that it would be unpopular and illogical to rely on the respective test from Innova which is re-badged by the NHS. One would hope the MHRA review to see to this.
For investors in Omega Diagnostics, Avacta and Abingdon Health – they have clearly been given a major boost and now the time has come to deliver.