Since Monday, it is possible to buy self-tests in pharmacies.
Among the devices on sale, we find that of the biotech BioSpeedia, designed and developed on the Santé Innovations campus of the Jean-Monnet University of Saint-Etienne (Loire).
This French biotechnology laboratory, founded in 2011 by two world-renowned scientists, specializing in the detection of infectious diseases and a spin-off from the Institut Pasteur, is not alone in the market.
But its innovation is considered more than 90% reliable and has already been proven during a massive test campaign that took place last month in Saint-Etienne.
“Our self-test is one of the most efficient on the market,” confirms Julien Tizot, CEO of BioSpeedia.
“This means that only a few people positive for Covid-19 will fall through the cracks.
But in reality, their viral load will be so low that they won't infect others.
"Several million every month"
While the selling prices have been set at 6 euros for all the devices, the non-invasive self-test developed by BioSpeedia and produced in Lyon in a factory of the Delpharm group, a drug producer, is intended to be easy to use.
“Anyone can take the test,” confirms Julien Tizot.
Painless, the sample is taken using a swab which must be placed on the anterior part of the nostril.
“You pinch your nose and spin it around ten times.
The swab provided by BioSpeedia is then inserted into an extraction tube and mixed with a solution consisting of eight drops.
Then, a sample of this mixture is placed in a cassette which, fifteen minutes later, delivers its verdict: positive or negative for Covid-19.
BioSpeedia has already produced more than one million self-tests, which will be distributed nationally by the company DTF Médical.
And biotech hopes to gain momentum.
"If demand is there, we are able to produce several million tests each month, in the order of 2 to 4 million", announces Julien Tizot.
To achieve this goal, he hopes that the self-tests sold in pharmacies will soon be reimbursed.
Which, for the time being, is not the case.
The Haute Autorité de Santé having given the green light to health insurance coverage only in certain situations.
However, biotech has obtained authorization from the government to offer its antigen test to State services, local authorities and public establishments on the platform of the Union des Groupements d'Achats Publics (UGAP).