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Chembio Lands $550K Grant to Develop POC Zika Assay

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) - Chembio Diagnostic Systems announced today that it has received a $550,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to develop point-of-care diagnostics for the Zika virus.

Medford, New York-based Chembio will use the grant to develop a Zika-specific assay for  its Dual Path Platform (DPP) technology, as well as a multiplex assay to detect the Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya viruses.

"Chembio's patented DPP technology is ideally-suited for the development of these highly-sensitive, specific and affordable point-of-care assays for Zika virus and related febrile illnesses," Chembio Chief Science and Technology Officer Javan Esfandiari said in a statement. "We are well-positioned to act quickly, given our ongoing collaborations with [the US] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Brazil's Ministry of Health, and the global scientific community. We believe Chembio's family of DPP Zika Assays will become important tools in the battle against emerging disease worldwide."

DPP is an antibody-based technology which detects non-treponemal antibodies to screen for infection and treponemal antibodies to confirm active infections.

Chembio will also add Zika detection to its POC DPP Fever Panel that it is developing with funds from a separate grant from the Allen Ebola Program.