Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEMI) has received a contract for up to $13.2 million in funding by the U.S government (http://nnw.fm/Tfx2x). This includes funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The new contract is for the development and sale of Chembio’s quick point-of-care (POC) Zika tests and its other Zika products.
“We are very happy to receive this BARDA contract as it will allow the company to further develop the DPP® Zika IgM/IgG Assays, complete key clinical trials, and complete important U.S. regulatory submissions. Given the limitations of laboratory-based Zika tests, we believe Chembio’s POC DPP® Zika IgM/IgG Assays will become essential tools in the battle against the Zika virus, which is likely to endanger millions of people, in both the U.S. and abroad in the coming years, especially pregnant women,” Chembio CEO John Sperzel stated in the news release.
According to Chembio, current tests for Zika have limited utility. This is because the time between the initial exposure to Zika and the time where antibodies are detectable, also known as seroconversion, are only accurate for a short amount of time. After seroconversion, it is recommended to have more antibody tests to identify whether or not it is the Zika virus. A commitment of $5.9 million has been given for Chembio’s DPP® Zika IgM/IgG Assay and DPP® Micro Reader. This will provide results during patient consultations. This system detects IgM and IgG antibodies within 15 minutes using a blood sample of 10uL.
The option for a further $7.3 million has been put forward for the development, clinical trial, and regulatory submissions for the CEMI’s DPP®Zika/Chikungunya/Dengue IgM/IgG Combination Assay. This identifies IgM and IgG antibodies for Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya at the same time and also gives results within 15 minutes, thanks to a simple fingerstick blood sample of 10uL.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.chembio.com
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