Spartan Bioscience says Health Canada approves rapid COVID-19 test –

Ottawa-based company Spartan Bioscience announced on Saturday that Health Canada has approved its rapid COVID-19 test, authorizing the sale of the device. 

“Spartan’s test is the first truly mobile, rapid PCR test for COVID-19 for the Canadian market,” a news release from the company states. “The Spartan COVID-19 system offers the speed and ease of use of a rapid test, while using the technology of lab-based COVID-19 testing solutions.”

Health Canada previously provided regulatory approval for the device — with the federal government ordering 40,000 tests monthly.

The federal agency restricted the device to research use in May, however, after finding problems with the test that made it unreliable.

Previously, Spartan said Health Canada’s concerns stemmed from the efficiency of the swabs the device uses, not the machine itself. 

At the time, the company’s founder said the problems would be fixed by the summer of 2020. 

Before its use was restricted, the made-in-Canada device was reported to deliver on-location results in under 60 minutes, with further updates promising to reduce that time to 30 minutes.   

“The Spartan system will be able to provide quality results to remote communities, industries and settings with limited lab access, helping relieve the burden on overwhelmed health-care facilities,” the company’s news release reads. 

CBC News has contacted Health Canada but did not hear back immediately.  

In an emailed statement, Ontario’s Ministry of Health said it welcomes the authorization of additional rapid tests.