Hawaii company in mad dash to secure emergency authorization for COVID-19 saliva test

Hawaii company in mad dash to secure emergency authorization for COVID-19 saliva test
Assure-19 test was developed in Hawaii. (Source: Oceanit)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - For months, a Honolulu company has been developing a rapid COVID-19 test that detects the virus in saliva.

Oceanit says it’s working non-stop to complete clinical trials and submit its application for the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization by the end of this month.

The test is called Assure-19. It’s a rapid $20 COVID-19 test in which the user spits into a small cup and the result comes up in minutes like a pregnancy test.

“It’s been a huge effort in a short amount of time so lots of people working really hard at it,” said Pat Sullivan, CEO of Oceanit.

He has tested himself roughly a hundred times usually in the morning and for traveling. Along with masks and distancing, he calls it another layer of protection.

“I’ve been using it, using it on people, anybody that travels for work. In my opinion, it’s way better than any other test because we are managing the risk of infecting other people,” said Sullivan.

Once approved, Oceanit says manufacturing the test may have to happen outside Hawaii. Sullivan says the state turned down a request for ten million dollars in return for 400,000 tests. The money was needed for a place to produce millions of tests.

“We’ve suggested the state acquire tests and that would provide capitol to retro some building space,” he said.

Sullivan says despite the lightning pace of development, he and his team aren’t giving up and still have a goal of manufacturing in Hawaii.

“Everybody kinda stands back and watches, but we are not stopping. We are just trying to figure out how to solve the problem,” he said.

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