(Bethlehem, PA) Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) released the following statement in response to the $16.6 million in federal funding that was awarded to OraSure to assist in advancing their rapid Zika tests.
"My congratulations to OraSure in securing this funding to help advance and develop tests for the Zika virus utilizing technology it already uses in testing for HIV, HCV, and Ebola. OraSure has been at the forefront of medical advancements and diagnostics, not just in the Lehigh Valley, but on a national scale as well, and I am glad to see this money has been awarded to a company that has developed a reputation in our community for its reliability and innovation," Dent said.
The total funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response's Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will be spread out in a six-year, multi-phased contract. At the offset, OraSure will be granted $7 million, with an additional $9.6 million through 2022 if additional funding is allotted for their work.
"The serious health threat that Zika poses seems to only be growing, and I am thankful that companies like OraSure are on the front lines, aiding in the fight against it. In June, the House of Representatives took an important first step to combat the spread of Zika with the passage of a bill that would provide $1.1 billion in funding to increase the federal response. It is my hope that the Senate, President, and House can reach a final agreement soon to ensure that needed resources promptly reach those on the front lines of fighting against this virus," Dent concluded.
Contact: Emily Rauch (202) 225-6411