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Lab awarded $4M to develop rapid test to keep blood supply safe from Zika

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Posted at 11:05 AM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 14:10:46-04
A $4.1 million agreement with Hologic, Inc. was made by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to advance the development of a blood screening test that will help detect the presence of Zika in the blood supply.
 
“Accurate blood-screening tools are vital to protecting our nation’s blood supply from Zika. This test may provide another tool laboratories can use to identify infected blood donations to help ensure patients’ safety,” said Dr. Richard Hatchett, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority acting director.
 
Under the one-year agreement, Hologic will advance the development of its 'Procleix Zika Virus Assay', designed to detect the Zika virus in donated blood plasma, according to the media release.
 
Most people infected with Zika do not develop clinical symptoms and might donate blood not knowing that they are infected.
 
According to the media release, having accurate blood donation screening tests will help ensure infected blood is removed from the blood supply.