SPRINGDALE, Ark., June 16, 2021 – The University of Arkansas and NOWDiagnostics, Inc., a Springdale-based leader in innovative diagnostics testing, announced today an active partnership to study the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 virus antibodies among University of Arkansas (U of A) students, staff and faculty.
Donald G. Catanzaro, a research assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences is the study’s Principal Investigator. Chemical engineering associate professor Shannon Servoss, a former member of the ADEXUSDx® COVID-19 antibody test development team at NOWDiagnostics, is the co-principal investigator, along with Shengfan Zhang, associate professor of industrial engineering.
Using NOWDiagnostics’ Arkansas-developed and manufactured ADEXUSDx® COVID-19 antibody test, a rapid-results self-contained fingerstick test that accurately detects the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in 15 minutes, the study has been enrolling students, faculty and staff from the U of A to test for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The objective is to test each enrollee three times over a period of four months. Recruitment began on March 17, 2021.
The study is designed to estimate the seropositive prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in U of A’s students, faculty, and staff and evaluate whether the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the U of A population significantly changes over time. This information can ultimately inform policy-makers’ decisions affecting the health and welfare of all Arkansans and assist state leaders responsible for reopening Arkansas’ businesses and schools.
Speaking about this study, Dr. Catanzaro said, “This study simultaneously accomplishes an in-depth study of how prevalent COVID-19 is among our campus community of students, staff and faculty which gives us information on the effectiveness of our pandemic public health policy. Secondly, it assists NOWDiagnostics in understanding the performance of their innovative antibody test and, very importantly, this study gives our talented team of undergraduate researchers experience in clinical research – it really is a triple win.”
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, reliable antibody testing has played a pivotal role in the identification of convalescent plasma donors to provide life-saving therapy for those most affected by COVID-19. In addition to this role, antibody testing offers important utility to understand immunity following infection, and potentially therapy and vaccination—for individuals, healthcare providers, businesses, community, and governments.
In May 2021, NOWDiagnostics announced receipt of Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the ADEXUSDx® COVID-19 Test’s use in moderate complex settings and at the point of care. In August 2020, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provided funding and technical support under contract number 75A50120C00156 to NOWDiagnostics for the development of the ADEXUSDx® COVID-19 Test. Trials for over-the-counter use are ongoing.
“The efforts of University of Arkansas researchers and the team at NOWDiagnostics serve as an excellent example of a public-private collaboration that is built on a longstanding relationship,”said Dr. Bob Beitle, professor of chemical engineering and associate vice chancellor for research and innovation. “U of A faculty are encouraged to seek out these connections—especially with Arkansas-based companies—to elevate the entire community.”
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.
About NOWDiagnostics, Inc.: NOWDiagnostics, Inc., based in Springdale, Arkansas, is a leader in innovative diagnostics testing. Its ADEXUSDx® product line features a lab at the tip of your finger, using a single drop of blood to test for a variety of common conditions, illnesses, and diseases, with results in a matter of minutes. By eliminating the need to send tests to off-site laboratories, NOWDiagnostics products have the potential to decrease the waiting period to determine test results by days. For more information about NOWDiagnostics, visit www.nowdx.com. For more information about the ADEXUSDx® COVID-19 Test, including its intended use, features, benefits, and directions for use, visit www.c19development.com. The ADEXUSDx® COVID-19 Test will be distributed by C19 Development, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of NOWDiagnostics. Laboratories may contact www.c19development.com/order to place an order.