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Rapid Zika test moves closer to reality, Chembio says

Medford-based Chembio Dignostics is collaborating with a Brazilian

Medford-based Chembio Dignostics is collaborating with a Brazilian research organization on a rapid test for the Zika virus. Credit: Heather Walsh

Chembio Diagnostic Systems Inc. said this week that it is making progress toward introducing a rapid test for Zika in Brazil.

The Medford-based manufacturer of point-of-care tests said its collaboration with Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz, a Brazilian research organization supporting that country’s public health system, has produced a test that has been tried on nearly 1,000 samples from seven countries.

An application has been made to Brazilian regulators to approve the test, and Bio-Manguinhos will supply the tests to Brazil’s health ministry.

Chembio CEO John J. Sperzel said there have been discussions with third parties about underwriting further test development. A grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has supported work so far.

Sperzel said Chembio plans to work with Bio-Manguinhos on tests for fever diseases to be used in Brazil.

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