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Detect Nabs $22.9M BARDA Award to Develop Rapid Molecular COVID-19/Flu Test

NEW YORK – The US Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority announced last week that it has awarded Connecticut-based diagnostics developer Detect $22.9 million to further develop its COVID-19 and influenza A/B combo test. 

The money will be used to conduct additional studies of the test required by the US Food and Drug Administration to obtain Emergency Use Authorization and eventual 510(k) clearance, BARDA said in a statement. 

The test includes a reusable base station – the Detect Hub – as well as a single-use cartridge and an accompanying mobile application. The isothermal amplification test can be conducted at home with a nasal swab, with results in less than 30 minutes. The cartridge "will allow users to receive independent test results for influenza A, influenza B, SARS-CoV-2, and potential co-infection," BARDA said, noting that the test platform can be quickly reprogrammed to identify new targets and/or pathogenic strains.

The test is expected to be able to detect all known SARS-COV-2 variants, including Omicron.

Detect was founded in early 2020 by sequencing and molecular biology pioneer Jonathan Rothberg.