Alberta's rapid testing kits aren't exactly going to plan. Following the development of the speedy testing kits, Alberta was promised that they would no longer have to wait days for COVID-19 test results. While the kits were first announced in April, the company creating them has now come out to announce the recall of the COVID-19 testing kit by Health Canada. This recall comes after Alberta announced a $9.5 million partnership with the company.
In April 2020, Spartan Bioscience announced that they were developing a machine that could deliver COVID-19 test results in under an hour.
This was an impressive announcement as a typical test result could take up to a week or longer.
Alberta was quick to jump on board and announced a $9.5 million partnership with Spartan Bioscience to provide 250 machines and 100,000 testing kits.
The kits were meant to be deployed in rural communities.
While this seemed to be a positive investment, the company has announced a national recall on the testing products.
As a result, over 5,000 kits have been recalled.
Narcity has reached out to Spartan Bioscience. for comment and we will update this story when we receive a response.
According to a news release by Spartan Bioscience, the company was advised on Friday, May 1, by Health Canada that there were “concerns regarding the efficacy proprietary swab for Spartan’s COVID-19 testing product.”
The same Health Canada report stated that there were no concerns regarding the accuracy and analytical performances of the tests and portable DNA analyzation device.
According to Alberta Health Services, these testing kits were going to be used in addition to current lab testing. They were intended for areas of the province where access to major labs is an issue.
“Alberta has been one of the fastest jurisdictions in the world for testing of COVID-19. However, the threat to the health of all Albertans remains," says Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health, in an Alberta Health Services press release.
"We have recognized a gap in our testing and I am pleased AHS is working swiftly with industry to find ways to ensure rapid testing for the virus is accessible for people in rural and remote communities."
Spartan has announced that they will be voluntarily recalling the COVID-19 product to perform additional clinical studies and asses both the sampling method and proprietary swabs.
Prior to this announcement, the Spartan Bioscience shipped 5,500 tests all over Canada.
“Spartan will be working as quickly as possible to address the concerns and bring its test to market,” reads the recall notice.
The most current information provided by the province of Alberta states that there are 5,766 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province.
This number has the potential of rising as 161,245 tests have been completed.
With 95 deaths, 2,713 people have recovered in the province.