Media Release

Roche develops new serology test to detect COVID-19 antibodies

"Following the launch of our high-volume PCR test in mid-March to detect active infection of the disease, we are now going to launch a new antibody test in early May "  - Severin Schwan, CEO Roche Group.


Roche Diagnostics Belgium, 17 April 2020


Today Roche announces the development and upcoming launch of its Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test to detect antibodies in people who have been exposed to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the COVID-19 disease.


Antibody testing is central to help identify people who have been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, especially those who may have been infected but did not display symptoms1. Additionally, the test can support priority screening of high risk groups, such as healthcare workers who might already have developed a certain level of immunity and can continue serving and/or return to work. Once we understand more about the immunity of COVID-19, it could also help society return faster to normality. 


The Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoassay² is an in vitro test, using human serum and plasma drawn from a blood sample, to detect antibodies and determine the body’s immune reaction to SARS-CoV-2. The test may be used in epidemiological research to help better understand the spread of the disease and may also be used together with molecular tests to aid in the diagnosis of suspected COVID-19 patients. Hospitals and reference laboratories can run the test on Roche’s cobas e analysers, which are widely installed in Belgian Laboratories.


Roche aims to have the antibody test available by early May in countries accepting the CE mark, including Belgium.  Roche is planning on global level an accelerated ramp up of monthly production to high double-digit millions test by June and will further scale up production as fast as possible.


Every reliable test on the market serves its purpose for healthcare systems to help us overcome this pandemic. Roche is deeply committed to supporting the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and therefor is collaborating closely with the Belgian health authorities to ensure timely availability and fast access to reliable, high quality tests that are essential for the healthcare system.  
The antibody test is an important next step in the fight against COVID-19.


For any questions relating to this topic, please contact Roche Diagnostics Belgium: [email protected] – Christel Van Weert – 0474 65 25 47


All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

[1]  Thus, 29 of the 33 patients who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 at admission (87.9%) had no symptoms of Covid-19 at presentation -
[2] Full specifications of the Roche immunoassay systems, including throughput, can be found on our diagnostics.roche website.