The U.S. HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response announced a $1.8 million contract with OraSure Technologies Inc. for the development of a rapid Ebola virus diagnostic test, according to a press release.
The lateral-flow test — called OraQuick — will detect Ebola virus on test strips holding blood or saliva samples within 20 minutes, according to the release. It would be used in various medical settings including physicians’ offices, hospitals and clinics.
“Fast and inexpensive point-of-care diagnostics will improve our ability to control Ebola virus disease outbreaks,” Robin Robinson, PhD, director of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s (ASPR) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), said in a press release. “Faster diagnosis of Ebola virus infections allows for more immediate treatment and an earlier response to protect public health worldwide.”
The contract supports clinical and non-clinical work needed for FDA approval, according to the release. ASPR could extend the deal up to 39 months and $10.4 million.
OraSure, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, will also determine if the test is effective in identifying infection from oral fluid samples of deceased patients. The post-mortem analysis would be assessed as part of an infection control effort.
BARDA is further supporting the prevention of Ebola virus through the development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs, according to the release. The organization is pursuing additional proposals for novel drugs and products.