PRESS RELEASE | National Institutes of Health approves next round of ASSURE-19 funding under the RADx ‘Next’ program

Honolulu, HI | Oceanit Laboratories received approval from NIH for next round funding under the RADx initiative, receiving an additional $250,000 for further development of the ASSURE-19 rapid Covid-19 saliva test. With this latest round of funding, Oceanit will have access to additional NIH R&D resources through the RADx network of core partners, which can help to expedite moving ASSURE-19 to market.

The NIH RADx initiative was created to speed innovation in development, commercialization, and implementation of technologies for Covid-19 testing. Oceanit submitted ASSURE-19 to RADx in June and was chosen for funding from a field of over 7,500 applications along with several other groups.

Oceanit’s ASSURE-19 test is currently in IRB-approved trials in partnership with The Queen’s Medical Center and the University of Hawai’i, John A. Burns School of Medicine. The novel saliva test is able to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in just a few minutes and even in pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic people. It does so without the need for lab processing, special equipment, or trained technicians.

Oceanit’s goal is to manufacture ASSURE-19 at a large enough scale to bring the price per kit down to just a few dollars, making the test accessible to the masses and usable as a second or repeated test for arriving tourists. Widespread, regular testing for all those at risk of exposure, not just those with symptoms, is a crucial factor for safely reopening schools and businesses, thereby rebooting the economy and society.

By identifying infectious, yet pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals, ASSURE-19 can help prevent community spread of Covid-19 and allow Hawai’i and the US to more fully and more confidently return to work, school, and travel. Frequent, rapid tests will help to identify and isolate individuals more quickly, stopping spread and curbing outbreaks of Covid-19.

About the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx SM) initiative: The RADx initiative was launched on April 29, 2020, to speed innovation in the development, commercialization, and implementation of technologies for COVID-19 testing. The initiative has four programs: RADx Tech, RADx Advanced Technology Platforms, RADx Underserved Populations and RADx Radical. It leverages the existing NIH Point-of-Care Technology Research Network. The RADx initiative partners with federal agencies, including the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, Department of Defense, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Learn more about the RADx initiative and its programs: https://www.nih.gov/radx.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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