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OraSure receives HHS contract to develop its rapid Ebola test

OraSure Technologies has received a $10.4m contract to advance the clinical development of its OraQuick Ebola rapid antigen test.


The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has awarded the contract to OraSure to develop its rapid Ebola test.

Under the three year and multi-phased contract, the company will receive an initial payment of $1.8m, as well as an additional $8.6m to fund certain clinical and regulatory activities.

The company uses its OraQuick technology platform to develop the rapid Ebola test, which is earlier used in the development of the firm’s rapid HIV and HCV test kits.

OraSure Technologies president and CEO Douglas Michels said: "We believe that the availability of an accurate and simple rapid Ebola antigen test will be critical to containing and controlling current and future Ebola outbreaks.

"We are grateful to BARDA for making this funding available as it will enable us to complete key clinical activities and obtain important regulatory approvals for this product."

Earlier this year, the company completed the design of a prototype device that is said to deliver analytical performance similar to laboratory PCR tests when assessed on stored samples from infected patients.

The firm also provides FDA approved OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test for hepatitis C, as well as OraQuick ADVANCE HIV-1/2 Antibody Test for HIV.

Image: OraSure has secured HHs contract related to its OraQuick Ebola rapid antigen test. Photo: courtesy of OraSure Technologies, Inc.