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October 5, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – OraSure secures contract to increase production of Covid-19 rapid tests – Northwell Labs starts using Covid-19 PCR test to screen employees

By Chloe Kent

OraSure Technologies has secured a $109m contract from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to boost production of its InteliSwab Covid-19 rapid tests. OraSure’s production capacity is expected to touch 100 million tests per year by March 2024. InteliSwab uses a swab from the lower nostrils and can deliver results within 30 minutes. It has received three Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for professional point-of-care use, prescription home use and over-the-counter use.

US-based healthcare network Northwell Health has started using LabGold, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test which uses a self-collected specimen to screen employees for Covid-19. The test was developed using funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation along with Corteva Agriscience, Quantigen and SteriPack. In future, Northwell plans to expand the use of LabGold by using a $2.5m grant from the Gates Foundation.

The FDA has granted EUA for the ACON Laboratories Flowflex Covid-19 Home Test. This Flowflex test is an over-the-counter Covid-19 antigen test that can be used at home without a prescription. The EUA is expected to increase the availability of OTC tests, boosting at-home testing capacity in the US. ACON plans to deliver more than 100 million tests per month by the end of this year.

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