OraSure Technologies has received a $629,217 contract from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Developmental Authority (BARDA), to develop an ELISA test for the detection of Covid-19 antibodies using oral fluid.

There are currently no oral fluid based Covid-19 antibody tests available with automated assays. This test is expected to increase laboratory antibody testing capacity. Oral fluid collection is painless and non-invasive, and requires less human contact than a blood draw.

It could also help to identify people with past Covid-19 infections, which could potentially allow them to return to work once the duration of any postviral immunity period following infection is established.

The funding will be used to help OraSure complete the development of the assay and file for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company is also developing a rapid antigen self-test using oral fluid samples, also supported by BARDA.