Chembio Diagnostics has received a contract from the US Government to develop and commercialize point-of-care tests for Zika Virus.
The contract was awarded by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
The initial commitment of $5.9m will fund the development of the DPP Zika IgM/IgG Assay and DPP Micro Reader.
There is an option for an additional $7.3m that will fund the development and regulatory submissions for the company's DPP Zika/Chikungunya/Dengue IgM/IgG Combination Assay.
By using a 10uL fingerstick blood sample, the DPP Zika system can detect both IgM and IgG antibodies and provide quantitative results in 15 minutes.
The DPP Zika/Chikungunya/Dengue IgM/IgG combination Assay can detect IgM and IgG antibodies for Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya by using a10uL fingerstick blood sample.
It also provides quantitative results in 15 minutes.
Chembio Diagnostics CEO John Sperzel said: "We are very happy to receive this BARDA contract as it will allow the Company to further develop the DPP Zika IgM/IgG Assays, complete key clinical trials, and complete important U.S. regulatory submissions.
“Given the limitations of laboratory-based Zika tests, we believe Chembio's POC DPP® Zika IgM/IgG Assays will become essential tools in the battle against the Zika virus, which is likely to endanger millions of people, in both the U.S. and abroad in the coming years, especially pregnant women."
Image: Aedes aegypti is a mosquito that can spread Zika fever. Photo: courtesy of Muhammad Mahdi Karim.