Karekin Khatchadoorian, Universal Meditech manager, holds up a DiagnosUS SARS COV-2 Antibody Test kit. Photo by Donald A. Promnitz
Written by Donald A. Promnitz
A company in Fresno is taking on Covid-19 by producing one of the most needed products in the fight — and their work is getting international demand.
At the southernmost end of Fresno, Universal Meditech Inc. is rolling out coronavirus antibody testing kits with the approval of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Marketed as the DiagnosUS SARS COV-2 Antibody Test, the company has produced more than 100,000 kits so far.
“We’re very proud right now that we are doing this and actually manufacturing it here in Fresno, California — very proudly made in the U.S.A.,” said Karekin Khatchadoorian, Universal Meditech manager. “It’s amazing.”
According to Khatchadoorian, the kit itself works in a similar manner to a home pregnancy test. First, the patient’s finger is pricked and the blood sample is put on the testing membrane. After that, an assay diluent solution is added to the membrane, and it can be determined whether or not the subject has COVID-19, or has been exposed to the coronavirus.
Last week, Universal Meditech hired on five more people to assemble the testing kits, and Khatchadoorian expects expansion as demand grows. This seems likely, as international requests are coming in, including buyers from Brazil and Mexico. Again, he explained the test is 100% American made
“As far as Universal Meditech goes, if we need anything overseas, it’s most likely going to be containers and plastic and whatnot,” he said. “But if you’re talking about creating cutting, producing — it’s all done over here.”
Universal Meditech is a company that specializes in making in vitro diagnostic devices. They’ve also been heavily involved in the fight against Covid-19 by assisting in procuring masks alongside the Chinese-American business community and their sister company in the Chinese port city of Qingdao.