US-based Chembio Diagnostics has entered into an exclusive agreement with Integrated BioTherapeutics (IBT), to develop point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests for Ebola and Febrile illness.
As part of the deal, Chembio's Dual Path Platform (DPP) technology will be combined with IBT's Ebola reagents for the development of these POC diagnostic tests.
Chembio said it will hold exclusive rights to any POC product developed under the agreement.
There is currently no antiviral therapy or vaccine, which is effective against the Ebola virus infection in humans.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of people being infected with the deadly Ebola virus disease in West Africa could reach up to 10,000 a week by the end of the December.
Chembio chief science and technology officer Javan Esfandiari said: "In 2013, we partnered with the US Government to develop a multiplex POC febrile illness assay, which in 20 minutes can detect antigens from five different viruses, bacteria, and parasites with a single, finger-stick drop of blood.
"The resulting product, DPP Febrile Illness Assay, is currently in clinical trials in several countries, including the region of West Africa. Our intent is to develop a stand-alone POC DPP Ebola test and also include an Ebola test as part of our existing multiplex DPP® febrile illness assay."
IBT president Javad Aman said: "Development of a rapid POC test for Ebola will be a critical step towards enabling early detection and quarantine that could help save countless lives.
"Through this partnership, the capabilities of the two companies will be combined to produce a POC product we believe will meet this serious challenge in a timely manner."
Chembio seperaterly entered into an agreement with an unnamed international diagnostics firm to develop a POC diagnostic test for dengue fever virus.
The DPP technology helps the company with a significant pipeline of business opportunities, for the development and manufacture of new products.
Image: Ebola virus virion. Photo: courtesy of CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith.