A small San Diego, CA-based company has joined the ongoing battle against the new coronavirus.
Cue Medical secured a U.S. government contract to deliver its portable point-of-care diagnostic test for the detection of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, into the hands of the public. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development authority awarded the $13 million contract.
The Cue system is designed to be affordable, portable, and able to operate in the home - a true consumer diagnostic device, according to the company. It also may have an entire menu of common diagnostic tests for things like influenza, women's health, sexually transmitted diseases, and more available within the next few years. The company said the system could also be further developed to test for new virus strains that may emerge.
Cue's test is intended to detect SARS-CoV02 in less than 25 minutes using a simple nasal swab. But the test still has to undergo development, validation, and FDA clearance, all of which should be accelearated thanks to the funding. The test is part of the company's Cue Health Monitoring System, which is designed to be a portable device that can perform a molecular test and connect patients to a mobile health platform featuring interventional components such as telemedicine consultations.
"We aim to help provide a diagnostic shield for people at home, their business, and the healthcare system that will allow us to gain the upper hand against viral threats now and in the future," said Ayub Khattak, CEO of Cue Health. "We have worked with the BARDA team for the past two years developing and testing a 20-minute, molecular influenza test designed for home and point-of-care use. Our connected platform could serve as a critical tool in identifying the SARS-Co-V-2 virus."
Khattak said the testing platform could drastically improve the ability to contain the spread of the virus for this and future pandemics.