OraSure Technologies receives $8.6M contract to develop next-gen Ebola test

OraSure Technologies (Nasdaq:OSUR) 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 BARD…

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Markey wants COVID-19 test-makers to lower prices

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, has sent letters to CEOs of at-home COVID-19 test-makers, asking why tests are selling for as much as $12 apiece.

In a letter sent today to Abbott CEO Robert Ford, for example, Markey cited a Reuters story from October 2021 in which British test-maker Mologic said that rapid antigen tests can cost as little as $2 apiece to manufacture. “Yet, U.S. consumers face costs of $12 or more for each at-home rapid COVID-19 antigen test. As we face an unprecedented wave of COVID cases, manufacturers and retailers must do more to ensure consumers see reasonable prices for at-home tests.”

Markey made similar points to top leadership at BD, Access Bio, Quidel, Acon Laboratories, Celltrion USA, Ellume Health, iHealth Labs, InBios International and OraSure Technologies.

Get the full story on our sister site Medical Design & Outsourcing. 

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