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LA Sues Company In Beverly Hills For Selling An Unapproved Coronavirus Test

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (round gold objects) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. SARS-CoV-2, also known as 2019-nCoV, is the virus that causes COVID-19. (NIAID-RML)
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Los Angeles prosecutors are suing a company with offices in Beverly Hills for selling an at-home COVID-19 blood test that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The L.A. City Attorney and L.A. County District Attorney announced the suit against the Applied BioSciences Corporation, its president, Chris Bridges, and founder Scott Stevens. The company claims it is "focused on the development and commercialization of novel, science-driven, synthetic cannabinoid therapeutics / biopharmaceuticals that target the endocannabinoid system to treat a wide-range of diseases," according to a statement from the city and county.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey says that fraudulent medical tests are a public health risk because they can give consumers a false sense of security that they aren't sick.

"People who believe they are healthy or virus-free are more likely to return to work and otherwise move about freely, increasing the risk to themselves and others."

Lacey says the FDA has approved the first at-home nasal swab collection kit for COVID-19 testing, but Applied BioSciences was selling a blood antibody test that has
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not been approved.

Prosecutors say the company claimed in advertisements its tests could diagnose COVID-19 from a single finger prick of blood — and could do it with 96.3% accuracy in 15 minutes. The company allegedly marketed and sold the test kits on its website for $35 each.

The lawsuit aims to stop the company from marketing or selling the kits and seeks restitution for consumers who bought them.

Last month, city attorney Mike Feuer announced similar actions taken against businesses selling unapproved at-home kits. This lawsuit is the latest in a crackdown on coronavirus-related fraud with officials targetting companies for price gouging and making false and misleading claims.

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