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Zika virus

The in vitro diagnostic test is an automated immunoassay that leverages chemiluminescence detection technology to detect Zika virus IgM antibodies in human sera.

Dubbed "Sherlock," the new technology has demonstrated potential in detecting viruses and bacteria as well as human SNPs and mutations in cell-free DNA.

The funding will go toward the development of an immunoassay that would detect IgM antibodies specific to the Zika virus. 

The test is based on the company's portable diagnostic platform and can qualitatively detect Zika RNA in human serum.

The test will leverage Chembio's DPP technology platform to detect multiple diseases simultaneously. 

The method uses graphene-coated silica particles fused to complementary RNA to register impedance changes in the presence of viruses.

The company will use the funds to work in collaboration with George Mason University to apply its technology to detecting viruses in non-invasive samples.

The test addresses a major challenge of using an immunoassay for diagnosing Zika — the inability to differentiate it from other flaviviruses. 

The FDA granted Abbott Emergency Use Authorization for the assay in serum, plasma, and urine in November. 

The firm said that it is on track to seek FDA approval for a liquid cytology solution early this year.