FEMA to buy Pro Strips hand-held bioagent assays

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency recently issued a small business set-side solicitation for 250 Pro Strips biowarfare threat detection kits.

The kits are made by the Phoenix-based ADVNT Biotechnologies for use at FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness, located in Anniston, Alabama. FEMA has promised to order a minimum of 250 kits, with options to buy a further 60 in February, May and August, according to GSNMagazine.com.

FEMA said that it will only purchase kits under the brand name Pro Strips because they have been used consistently at its training facilities in Anniston.

"Use of a product other than the brand name would require increased time for instruction on instrument operation, increased learning time to understand changes resulting from biological agent interaction, increased learning curve for the instrument's capabilities and limitations, and revision of standard practices in the CDP biothreat training implementation," FEMA's solicitation said, GSNMagazine.com reports.

Pro Strips are hand-held assays designed to detect up to five different bioagents in a single device - anthrax, ricin toxin, botulinum toxin, Yersinia pestis and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B. ADVNT Biotechnologies has also developed a series of training kits to mimic actual biothreats so users can become familiar with the device.

"The test was inspired by the urgent request of many in the First Responder community to create a simple, accurate device that incorporated many of the more complex system capabilities but didn't require multiple samples, bulky equipment or time consuming evaluations," Dan Faubion of ADVNT Biotechnologies said, according to GSNMagazine.com.