The US Department of Defense has issued US$481 million to a diagnostics provider to boost domestic production of COVID-19 tests.
Cue Health, a diagnostic provider based in California, has secured a US$481 million contract from the US Department of Defence (DoD), on behalf of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The contract is expected to ramp up domestic production capacity of point-of-care COVID-19 tests, allowing Cue Health to increase production to 100,000 test kits per day by March 2021 — delivering 6 million COVID-19 tests to the US government to support the domestic COVID-19 response.
The DoD’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) is set to lead the production effort, in co-ordination with the DoD Defense Assisted Acquisition Cell (DA2).
The program is funded through the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.
“We are excited to be part of this historic, first-of-its-kind initiative led by the US government to deploy point-of-care molecular testing to protect the health of Americans,” Ayub Khattak, founder and CEO of Cue, said.
“Our vision in designing the Cue Health Monitoring System was to enable individuals to have more control over their health and lives by providing access to actionable, accurate health data in real time. The US government’s support has and will allow us to fulfil this vision in this particularly critical moment.”
About the test
The Cue COVID-19 Test is a molecular test, designed to detect the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in about 20 minutes by using a nasal swab sample taken from the lower part of the nose using the Cue Sample Wand.
The tests are powered by a portable Cue Health Monitoring System and a single-use COVID-19 test kit, which includes a COVID-19 Test Cartridge and a Cue Sample Wand.
The Cue system can be used for analysis of nasal specimens at the point of care and transmits test results to the Cue Health App on a connected mobile smart device.
The US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization has allowed the Cue COVID-19 Test to be used in patient care settings under the supervision of qualified medical personnel.
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