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Corgenix Announces New Grants to Advance Work on Ebola Test Kit

Corgenix Medical Corporation, a worldwide developer and marketer of diagnostic test kits, has been awarded two grants totaling $818,000 to advance the development of an Ebola rapid diagnostic test kit.

The grants were awarded to Corgenix by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Corgenix has selected three subcontractors to assist on the project: Tulane University, Autoimmune Technologies, LLC and Zalgen Labs, LLC.

“The scope and seriousness of Ebola virus outbreaks have resulted in an increased urgency to bring testing and products to market as soon as possible,” said Douglass Simpson, Corgenix president and CEO. “We thank the Gates and Allen foundations for their support and commitment to our efforts to accelerate the development of a rapid test.”

The Corgenix point-of-care test kit currently under development is designed to be used in any clinical or field lab to determine in a matter of minutes if a patient is infected with Ebola. Corgenix and the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium (VHFC), a collaboration of academic and industry members headed by Tulane University and partially funded with support from the NIH, have already developed the ReLASV® rapid test for the Lassa fever virus. The Lassa product is CE marked as a diagnostic test, enabling its use as a diagnostic product in Europe and other countries that recognize the European standard.

“Accurate, rapid, point-of-care testing will be critical to helping contain future Ebola and Lassa virus outbreaks,” said Robert Garry, Ph.D., professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Tulane University School of Medicine. “This grant will help ensure that our consortium develops this diagnostic testing tool as quickly as possible.”

Current testing for the Ebola virus requires special biohazard handling and sending test samples long distances to special labs – a process that takes several days. This results in a critical loss of time to diagnose, treat and help prevent the spread of the virus. Development of the Corgenix Ebola test would enable rapid response to public health and bioterrorism threats posed by the deadly virus.

The Corgenix Ebola products are not currently cleared or approved by any regulatory authority for diagnostic use.

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