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Mesa Biotech Awarded $13M in BARDA Funding for Coronavirus, Flu Combo Test

NEW YORK — Mesa Biotech said on Friday that it has received $13 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the development of a rapid point-of-care test for SARS-CoV-2 and influenza.

The visually read, PCR-based test will be designed to detect SARS-CoV-2 and influenza types A and B in throat, nasal, or nasopharyngeal swab samples within 30 minutes. It will run on Mesa's handheld Accula Dock system.

In March, Mesa received $561,330 from BARDA to develop and commercialize an Accula-based SARS-CoV-2 test, which received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA shortly thereafter. The San Diego-based company also has FDA-cleared and CLIA-waived Accula tests for influenza and respiratory syncytial virus.

"The 2020-21 influenza season will pose new challenges to the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic," Mesa Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer Hong Cai said in a statement. "With two viruses that cause respiratory symptoms circulating, physicians and public health officials will need to know whether patients have COVID-19 or influenza to make informed decisions about care and take appropriate actions to minimize the spread of the pathogens."