OraSure Technologies, Bethlehem, Pa, has been awarded a $710,310 contract from the Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), to develop a pan-SARS-coronavirus antigen rapid in-home self-test that uses oral fluid samples. The BARDA contract will enable OraSure to file for FDA emergency use authorization.

The rapid test is expected to allow for in-home self-testing by lay users as well as by medical professionals. No instrumentation or trained personnel would be needed to administer the test or to read the results. The test would be built on the company’s OraQuick platform, which is capable of providing results in 20 minutes for other diseases. OraSure envisions a development cycle of approximately 4 to 6 months prior to seeking emergency use authorization.

“Lives and global economies are at stake. It’s crucial that we understand just how many people are infected with SARS-coronavirus,” says Stephen S. Tang, PhD, president and chief executive officer of OraSure. “In-home self-testing will dramatically increase the capacity for SARS-coronavirus testing and give our healthcare systems and labs some much-needed breathing room. We believe that the development of an easy-to-use device that delivers accurate results to individuals in their homes can play a significant role in impacting infection rates. We are proud to bring our expertise with quality, rapid, oral fluid self-tests to the battle against the covid-19 pandemic.”

For more information, visit OraSure Technologies.

Featured image: Microphotograph of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19). Microphotograph by Elizabeth Fischer, Rocky Mountain Laboratory, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.