Chembio lands $13.2M Zika contract

Changing of the border guard: Medford-based Chembio Diagnostics has made some moves with its roster of international executives.

Medford-based Chembio Diagnostics has won a $13.2 million federal contract to further develop its rapid test for the Zika virus, the company announced Thursday.

Almost $6 million of the money – from the Department of Health and Human Services – will go toward its Zika test and a companion field monitor, the company said. Another $7.3 million will be used for development of a combination test for Zika, chikungunya and dengue.

The firm, which also makes point-of-care tests for HIV and syphilis, said the funding will also help “complete key clinical trials and complete important U.S. regulatory submissions.”

Chembio received approval to sell the Zika test in Europe and the Caribbean only last month. The company also has been seeking regulatory approval to introduce the test in Brazil, where many have been affected by the disease, which can lead to death and birth defects.

Chembio’s research on Zika has been supported by grants from Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen.

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