A new cheek swab, known as AlphaID (Grifols), has been made available for physicians to screen patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (Alpha-1). Genetic COPD due to Alpha-1 is often misdiagnosed with other lung disorders because the symptoms resemble COPD and asthma.

AlphaID is designed to screen for 14 genetic mutations commonly associated with Alpha-1 (eg, S, Z, F, I alleles and rare/null alleles) using an FDA-approved genotyping assay. The test is completely free for healthcare providers, from ordering the screening kit to receiving test results. Once cheek swab samples are sent in for screening, the turnaround time for results is 5 business days. 

If test results are reported to be positive for an at-risk genotype, the Company offers an additional free test known as AlphaID CONFIRM to verify the patient’s genotype and alpha-1 antitrypsin blood level to confirm the diagnosis. AlphaID CONFIRM is a fingerstick blood collection kit for patients with a positive AlphaID test sample.

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“AlphaID is an innovative, convenient way for patients to be screened for Alpha-1, which could mean earlier diagnosis and management of COPD,” said Angela Davis, MD, Global Medical Director, Medical Affairs and Scientific Intelligence, Grifols. “For more than 20 years, Grifols has been a leader in Alpha-1 screening and is dedicated to helping patients understand their condition and make informed treatment decisions.”

For more information visit requestalphaid.com.

This article originally appeared on MPR