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Lucigen Awarded Grant to Develop Rapid Test for Influenza

Lucigen Corp. said it recently received a $2.8 million phase two Small Business Innovation Research Phase grant to fund research and development of a diagnostic test for influenza.

The National Institutes of Health awarded Lucigen the grant to develop a point-of-care diagnostic testing device for influenza A, B and respiratory syncytial virus, the company said.

Middleton-based Lucigen is developing a test product that can accurately diagnose common respiratory viruses with high confidence in less than 30 minutes directly at point of need.

"The key factor enabling this game-changing technology is the development of a novel enzyme that converts RNA to DNA and isothermally amplifies it in minutes. These attributes have allowed the design of a device that does not use any microfluidics, pumps or valves, therefore greatly simplifying construction and significantly reducing the cost of the test," Lucigen said.

The new technology would be ideal for low resource and battlefield settings, and has long-term potential as an over-the-counter device, the company said.

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