ST. LOUIS ( -- A St. Louis biomedical company is developing antibodies from people who have recovered from the coronavirus and working to develop new diagnostic testing.

Leinco Technologies specializes in developing and manufacturing proteins and antibodies that can be given to the diagnostic and bio-pharmaceutical industries.

The company is now partnering with Vanderbuilt University Medical Center to increase production of an antibody designed for the development of a COVID-19 diagnostic test.

"These antibodies, when placed with the virus, will bind to the virus protein and identify it," said Pat Leinert Jr. with Leinco Technologies. "This kind of test is one of several, but can be mass-produced for use in hospitals and on the front lines."

The company hopes with the help of its partners in the diagnostic industry, tens of millions of the tests can be rolled out by Mid-May. Some of the tests will still require special medical instruments, like many that are being utilized currently. But some will work as simply as a home pregnancy test, said Leinert Jr.

It would be used in combination with a nasal swab to see if the patient tests positive for the virus.

Ideally, by the middle of summer, some of the tests could be purchased over the counter, according to the company.

The company has been working since January, along with help from several local universities like SLU and Washington University in St. Louis.

"These types of screening approaches will be a critical piece of returning our society back to normalcy through tracking and understanding prior exposures to this specific virus,” said Robert Carnahan, PhD, Associate Director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center.

There is currently no effective treatment to stop the spread of COVID-19, which as of April 17 had infected more than 2 million people worldwide and has caused more than 550,000 deaths.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved


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