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OraSure Technologies receives $8.6M contract

OraSure Technologies announced today that received a government contract to develop a second-generation Ebola diagnostic.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) issued the company the $8.6 million contract.

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based OraSure is to develop the test on its OraQuick testing platform. Its aim is to improve sensitivity, increase shelf life, introduce new chemistry and add more automation compared to its FDA-authorized test.

OraSure’s OraQuick Ebola rapid antigen test currently has a de novo authorization from the FDA. The company said it is the only such test with that authorization today. It is extensively used for Ebola cadaver testing in Africa and provides results in 30 minutes.

The first-generation test picked up FDA authorization in 2019. OraSure designed it for use with whole blood or cadaveric oral fluid.

“We are proud to partner with BARDA to develop a 2nd generation Ebola test and help prevent the spread of a disease which impacts some of our most vulnerable global communities,” said Lisa Nibauer, OraSure president of diagnostics. “Whether it be our response to the HIV epidemic, our work to counter the global Covid-19 pandemic, or this project, OraSure has increasingly partnered with the United States Federal government to counter some of the largest public health challenges we face across the globe.” MassDevice

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