OraSure Nabs HHS Contract to Develop POC Ebola Test

June 12, 2015

HHS has awarded OraSure Technologies a $1.8 million contract to develop a point-of-care test for the Ebola virus.

The OraQuick rapid Ebola antigen test is the first POC device to get HHS support.

The goal is a test that will detect virus in a drop of blood or saliva on a test strip and provide results within 20 minutes, making it easy for use in doctor offices, hospitals, clinics or field settings.

HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will oversee the development program. As part of the deal, OraSure will evaluate whether the test can be used to analyze oral fluids in people who have died of Ebola. A test that could determine disease status would aid in infection control and support the appropriate handling of remains infected with the virus, HHS says.

The contract could be extended for up to 39 months and $10.4 million.

BARDA is seeking additional proposals to develop drugs and devices to diagnose and treat Ebola and related illnesses. — John Bechtel