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BARDA and Vela Diagnostics partner to develop rapid diagnostic test for the COVID-19

BARDA and Vela Diagnostics USA, Inc. are entering into a partnership to develop a rapid diagnostic test for use on two instrument platforms to aid in the detection of COVID-19 infections. Diagnostics on multiple platforms are needed to test as many people as possible and identify those who are infected in order to slow the pandemic.

The company will develop two tests both of which would allow rapid analysis and early detection of SARS-CoV-2 in upper respiratory tract specimens from symptomatic individuals for effective patient management. The ViroKey™ SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Test can be done using a manual workflow or by using an automated workflow. Manually, 16 samples can be run in approximately three hours, and 46 samples can be run in three hours using an automated workflow with the Sentosa® SX101 liquid handler followed by amplification and detection on either the ABI 7500 Fast Dx or Sentosa® SA201 Real-Time PCR instrument.

The company will develop the manual workflow test first and shortly thereafter will develop the automated workflow. Upon successful development, the company will seek an EUA from the FDA for both the manual and automated tests.

BARDA will contribute approximately $224,000, and Vela will fund the remaining development costs.

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