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Todos Medical launches test that measures COVID-19 antibody levels

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Gerald Commissiong, CEO of Todos Medical, joins Yahoo Finance to discuss the latest in antibody test innnovation.

Video Transcript

BRIAN CHEUNG: Well, with the pandemic far from over, there are still questions about whether or not we have effective real-time tools to monitor the degree of COVID-19 immunity in a community. Todos Medical is one company working on an antibody blood test that seeks to not only evaluate if someone has COVID antibodies, but the level of antibodies. So let's bring in Todos Medical CEO Gerald Commissiong. And Gerald, tell us more about the tech behind this, and also help us understand how accurate is it.

GERALD COMMISSIONG: Sure, sure. So this test is called the [INAUDIBLE] test. And it is a neutralizing antibody test, which means that it tests for the ability of the antibodies to cover the receptors that the virus enters the cells through. So it competes with the virus to enter the cells. And if those antibodies have enough quantity, the virus cannot enter the cells.

So in terms of the tech, this has been done over three million times so far worldwide. In the US, it's now only starting to grow because there hasn't been as much of an emphasis on neutralizing antibody testing. And to date, the-- because it's quantitative, which means we measure not only if you have neutralizing antibodies, but what they call the titers, the quantity of those antibodies, we can tell you with a high degree of confidence that, you know, you have those antibodies and the quantity. So that's roughly 100%.

SEANA SMITH: And the quantity here, I guess, is what really separates this test apart from others, because no other test out there shows the level of antibodies that a person has. But Gerald, I guess, how do you think that this could best be used to get the pandemic under control, or how big of a game changer do you think this test could potentially be in order to stop the spread of infection?

GERALD COMMISSIONG: Well, it could be absolutely paramount. So the biggest issue we have when we're dealing with the pandemic is, people say, well, I've got antibodies. But you don't know if you have the right antibodies, which they're neutralizing. So that's step one. Two, we don't yet know the quantity of antibodies that you need in order to outcompete the virus. And with the Delta variant having a greater ability to enter the cells faster, that means you need probably more antibodies to be able to outcompete the virus.

So as we're looking at vaccination decisions for both people who are unvaccinated, as well as people who had prior COVID, which is a big part of the population, as well as now people got vaccinated over five months ago and are looking at potential boosters. You know, whether those people will, in fact, go for that additional vaccination could depend in large part on whether they feel that they are protected or not. And with the Delta variant, it's pretty clear more antibodies are better if you can show people, hey, you need to go get that next shot because your antibody levels are going down. That's an incentive.

The other thing is because there's not enough vaccine for the world, because we've made commitments to give vaccine to the rest of the world, we should be careful with the vaccine doses that we have so that we can make sure that they reach other places in order to limit variants that could ultimately come back here and bite us.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Gerald, so you do have emergency FDA approval for the [INAUDIBLE] test. I guess I'm wondering what is the next step in terms of getting this to more labs. I understand you have it in, what, about 30 labs so far. What do you see as the trajectory going forward for getting this test out there?

GERALD COMMISSIONG: Yeah, so there are about 30 labs in the US doing this. Our lab, Provista Labs, is doing this in an automated way. So we've invested heavily in automation so we can do large volume. And that's really the key, is getting large volume and testing centers out there so you can do those nursing homes, do those schools, do those first responders so that those people who are in the gravest danger are protected. So that's really the key. And it's all about volume and being able to take in samples. And that's all the infrastructure we're putting together.

SEANA SMITH: Gerald, how much does the test cost?

GERALD COMMISSIONG: So CMS reimburses this test at the level of $79 to $104. So we charge in and around that pricing. There could be some increases if you want convenience. For example, there is-- we're working on getting at-home, so you can do monitoring, say, monthly if you want to watch your titers and figure out when you may want to have that booster shot. So there's a lot of innovation coming down the pike, and especially with some other products that we have in the market, like our supplement and our phase two toll of your antiviral, it's an exciting time for Todos.