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Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

Hologic receives $4.1 million from HHS for the development of a Zika virus blood screening test

Hologic, Inc., entered into an agreement on Tuesday worth $4.1 million with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistance Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to advance the development of a blood screening test that will detect Zika virus.

The one year agreement can be extended by up to 18 months and $6.2 million to support the clinical study to evaluate the sensitivity and efficacy of the test.

ASPR’s Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will assist Hologic in the test’s development. ASPR announced its support in April for another company, Roche Molecular, for a clinical study of a Zika blood screening test to confirm whether that test accurately detects the virus in donor blood.

“Accurate blood screening tools are vital to protecting our nation’s blood supply from Zika,” Richard Hatchett, acting director of BARDA, said. “This test may provide another tool laboratories can use to identify infected blood donations to help ensure patient safety. At the same time, we are pursuing promising diagnostic tools and vaccines to identify and prevent Zika virus infections.”

To reduce the potential of a Zika virus outbreak, HHS repurposed $374 million for domestic Zika response and preparedness activities. As of August, HHS has obligated $222 million of the repurposed funds.