Roche announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the Elecsys IL-6 test. This test measures levels of the biomarker interleukin 6 (IL-6) and can be used to help identify patients with confirmed COVID-19 disease who could be at high risk of intubation with mechanical ventilation.
The test can support physicians, in combination with other examinations and vital signs, to decide early on if a patient with confirmed COVID-19 illness requires mechanical ventilation.“The FDA EUA approval of Elecsys IL-6 is another step in our commitment to deliver fast and reliable diagnostic tests to help fight the coronavirus pandemic,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics. “In the current situation, time is specifically critical. The test could help physicians in the quick identification of severe inflammatory response in patients infected with the SARS CoV-2 virus.”
The IL-6 immunoassay is an in vitro diagnostic test for the quantitative determination of IL-6 (interleukin-6) in human serum or plasma. This assay is used in countries accepting CE-mark to aid in the management of critically ill patients, as an early indicator for acute inflammation. Under the Emergency Use Authorisation in the US, this assay can be used to assist in identifying severe inflammatory response in patients with confirmed COVID-19 illness to aid in determining the risk of intubation with mechanical ventilation, in conjunction with clinical findings and the results of other laboratory testing. IL-6 is released by immune cells, once they are activated by virus, bacteria or other immune cells. IL-6 acts like a messenger to activate other immune cells to fight the infection. Because IL-6 is released so early during a severe infection, it helps physicians to identify severely ill COVID-19 patients as early as possible. Hospitals and reference laboratories can run the test on Roche’s cobas e analysers which are widely available around the world. These fully-automated systems can provide test results in approximately 18 minutes, with a test throughput of upto 300 tests/hour, depending on the analyser.