FDA has given the green light to Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory for its COVID-19 laboratory developed test (LDT), which now offers the option of using home-collected saliva samples. The test remains prescription only.
To be clear, this isn't the first test the agency has authorized with a home-collection option, but it is the first saliva-based COVID-19 test with a home-collection option. Rutgers' test previously had been added to FDA's high-complexity molecular-based LDT "umbrella" emergency use authorization to permit testing of samples self-collected by patients at home using the Spectrum Solutions SDNA-1000 saliva collection device.
Last month FDA authorized the first diagnostic test with a home-collection option, but that test uses a sample collected from the patient's nose with a nasal swab and saline. That authorization is for LabCorp's COVID-19 RT-PCR test using samples patients collect themselves with LabCorp's Pixel home collection kit.
“Authorizing additional diagnostic tests with the option of at-home sample collection will continue to increase patient access to testing for COVID-19. This provides an additional option for the easy, safe and convenient collection of samples required for testing without traveling to a doctor’s office, hospital or testing site,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD. “We will continue to work around the clock to support the development of accurate and reliable tests, as we have done throughout this pandemic. The FDA has authorized more than 80 COVID-19 tests and adding more options for at-home sample collection is an important advancement in diagnostic testing during this public health emergency.”
For more information about FDA-authorized COVID-19 tests and policies, check out these frequently-asked regulatory questions on the subject.