Coronavirus (Covid-19) tests: N.B.A.-funded saliva test cleared for immediate use

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

“Yale University researchers developing a cheap, scalable saliva test for detecting COVID-19 found a specific group of deep-pocketed and willing guinea pigs: the NBA. The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for the SalivaDirect COVID-19 diagnostic test developed by the Yale School of Public Health,” Sophia Chang wrote for Gothamist. “The SalivaDirect test offers several advantages in that saliva can be collected in any sterile container, so no special swabs or equipment are needed. Results can take as little as three hours, depending on how quickly the labs can obtain samples. The SalivaDirect tests also do not require a separate nucleic acid extraction step, streamlining the process and avoiding the need for special kits that have been in short supply, the FDA said.The testing methodology for SalivaDirect also can work with a range of widely available re-agents and instruments, so that most labs are already able to work with the tests. Yale is also open-sourcing the testing protocol so that labs can obtain the required components and perform the test in their lab themselves, the FDA said. There are five saliva tests with FDA emergency authorization use, which allows ‘unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used’ during public health emergencies, according to the agency. ‘But SalivaDirect’s materials cost less than $5 per sample and can produce up to 90 results in fewer than three hours in a laboratory, which means it can scale without stressing a complicated supply chain,’ according to the Wall Street Journal. The cost for consumers will likely be closer to $15 or $20, ESPN said.” Sophia Chang, NBA-Funded Saliva Test For COVID-19 Cleared For Immediate Use,” Gothamist.