Corgenix, VHFC begin development of Ebola rapid diagnostic test kit

Corgenix Medical Corporation, a diagnostic kit developer, announced on Monday that it joined the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium (VHFC) to begin work on the development of an Ebola rapid diagnostic test kit.

Corgenix and members of the VHFC, a collaboration of industry and academic members led by Tulane University, received a $2.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health in June. Under the grant, Corgenix and the VHFC will develop rapid diagnostic tests for Ebola to allow for rapid response to bioterrorism and public health threats posed by the Ebola virus.

Corgenix and the VHFC previously developed the ReLASV rapid test for the Lassa fever virus.

"This is uncharted territory, and we're all working with a heightened sense of urgency," Robert Garry, the principal investigator of the VHFC, said. "Our goal is to be prepared for future outbreaks with rapid, accurate, point-of-care testing to diagnose or rule out both Ebola and Lassa, wherever it occurs, leading to quicker and more effective treatment, thus limiting the spread of the virus."

Douglass Simpson, the CEO of Corgenix, said the work on the project has just begun.

"I want to strongly emphasize that this is a new three-year project, building off work commenced in 2010," Simpson said. "We do not currently have an Ebola test nor will we likely have a final one in the near future. We understand the critical nature of this virus and are doing everything possible to accelerate efforts to develop reliable and rapid result diagnostic kits in order to be ready for the next outbreak."

Corgenix develops and manufactures diagnostic kits for vascular diseases, bone and joint disorders, immunology disorders, and viral hemorrhagic diseases.

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