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Coronavirus: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (North of England) (Northern Powerhouse), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) source clinically approved covid-19 tests from UK companies, (b) introduce a mechanism to allow those companies to apply for the covid-19 tests they produce to be clinically approved and introduced into circulation and (c) publish the requirements necessary for covid-19 tests to be clinically approved for use.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Holding answer received on 29 April 2020

We have established a web portal for manufacturers of tests from any country to register their interest in supplying COVID-19 tests to the United Kingdom. Through our work in Pillar 5 on the UK Industrial Strategy, we are supporting a number of earlier-stage UK-based companies to develop their clinical evidence bases, obtain regulatory approval, and commercialise their offers.

Once a company registers a test via the online portal, it is reviewed by a panel of clinical experts. The most promising tests are put forward for independent clinical evaluation.

We have published Target Product Profiles for Serology testing, which we continually update, to inform the market of our testing requirements. Through our web portal and crowd sourcing challenge platform, we also flag the types of innovation in Molecular testing that we are trying to identify.

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