FDA approves first COVID-19 saliva test
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FDA approves first COVID-19 saliva test

Rutgers University announced on Monday that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Rutgers RUCDR Infinite Biologics and its collaborators for a new saliva-based COVID-19 test.

Andrew Brooks, chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR, believes that the new method will allow for broader population screening than the current method of nose and throat swabs and will act as a safer alternative.

It means we no longer have to put health care professionals at risk for infection by performing nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal collections. We can preserve precious personal protective equipment for use in patient care instead of testing. We can significantly increase the number of people tested each and every day as self-collection of saliva is more quick and scalable than swab collections. All of this combined will have a tremendous impact on testing in New Jersey and across the United States.

The tests are available to the RWJBarnabas Health network, New Jersey’s most comprehensive health care system, which includes Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, University Hospital in Newark and many other facilities, including several county health departments.

The FDA’s approval of the new saliva testing approach is the second major announcement in recent days from RUCDR, which launched a genetic testing service for the coronavirus that can test thousands of samples daily.

For more on COVID-19, see our special coverage.