How the US beat Australia to a 15-minute home COVID-19 test developed in Brisbane
Image (product): Ellume
A ground-breaking quick COVID-19 test developed in Brisbane has been snapped up by the US.
The US government has granted the 15-minute Ellume test emergency authorisation, and committed US$232 million to building a manufacturing facility in the US and producing 8.5 million tests.
It comes after the Australian government showed little interest in the quick test, which is 95 per cent accurate.
Neil Mitchell first spoke to Ellume founder, Dr Sean Parsons, in October.
“I tried and tried but the Australian government was massively underwhelmed,” the 3AW Mornings host said.
Dr Parsons, says there’s been no progress towards getting the device authorised for use in Australia in the past three months, and the company’s priority is now the US.
“There’s been no material movement with our discussions with the Australian government since we last spoke,” he told Neil Mitchell.
NEIL MITCHELL: “Are you putting on the backburner your attempts to have this introduced in Australia?”
DR PARSONS: “For the time being, we are, yes. We will be focusing completely on setting up this manufacturing facility in the US.”
Dr Parsons says Australia may not have an urgent need for the rapid tests now, but they’re likely to be very helpful in future.
“I think, ultimately, COVID is going to come to Australia,” he said.
“When it does we’re going to need tests like this to enable surveillance in the community.
“I think home testing for COVID is part of the future.”
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