Bethlehem (August 11, 2020)- State Senator Lisa M. Boscola commended OraSure Technologies today on the announcements today that the medical device company is working towards two new tests today to address testing needs for COVID-19 and in the process will be creating 177 new jobs here in Northampton County with the assistance of funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“OraSure Technologies has been a worldwide leader in manufacturing medical tests for decades here in the Lehigh Valley and today’s announcement once again demonstrates their global leadership in infectious disease diagnostics by bringing two new rapid diagnostic tests to address the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Senator Boscola stated. “It is OraSure and the Commonwealth’s hope that their new rapid antigen self-test that would detect a COVID-19 infection and their Antibody ELISA Test will be available by end of year.”
OraSure is currently developing a rapid self-antigen self-test that would require no instrumentation and no transport to a lab and a highly accurate, lab-based Antibody Test that would show a prior COVID-19 infection. OraSure Technologies also has proven experience working with federal regulators as both tests still require federal approval through the Food and Drug Administration.
“I am so proud of the work done by Dr. Steven Tang and all the employees of OraSure Technologies throughout the Lehigh Valley,” Boscola stated. “These self-tests will play a critical role in moving our Commonwealth forward. The Commonwealth’s support of OraSure’s efforts through a Pennsylvania First Grant and Job Creation Tax Credits will be critical in ensuring this community-oriented company will be able to provide these much needed tests here in the Commonwealth and across the United States.”
OraSure has previously introduced self-tests for HIV and Ebola with a history of reliable results. Dr. Tang at a press conference in Harrisburg today that with the Commonwealth support the company will be able to expand from its current capacity of 35,000,000 testing units to 55,000,000 by the end of the 1st quarter of 2021 and 70,000,000 units by the end of the 2nd quarter of 2021.
OraSure received a funding proposal from the Commonwealth including $531,000 for a Pennsylvania First Grant and a $531,000 Job Creation Tax Credits, which will be made available upon the creation of the new jobs. Future additional funding may be available to OraSure through the Manufacturing Tax Credit program and the Research and Development Tax Credit.
OraSure first received funding from the Commonwealth three decades ago through the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Program and currently operates at 4 locations in Northampton County.