Digital diagnostics company Ellume announced its rapid, at-home COVID-19 antigen test has been granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. FDA. As a result, the test will be available for non-prescription home use for the detection of active COVID-19 in individuals with or without symptoms, and in adults and children aged 2 years and above. The Ellume COVID-19 Home Test is the first of its kind to be granted a EUA and provides an essential new tool to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why does it matter?
The Ellume self-test will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 through rapid self-detection, providing users with real-time results at home, enabling self-isolation and patient education on escalation of medical care. Alongside the recently authorized COVID-19 vaccine, Ellume’s self-test will provide critical support to the United States as it transitions out of the pandemic, delivering rapid, accurate test results and facilitating a safe return to workplaces, educational institutions, and travel.
With core technology developed over ten years, Ellume’s COVID-19 Home Test combines ground-breaking technology with world-class usability to offer best-in-class at-home digital diagnostics. The self-test works in conjunction with a free software application (app) downloaded on the user’s smartphone, which provides easy-to-read, step-by-step instructions including a how-to-use video. All analysis is performed by the test’s electronic analyzer and using Bluetooth connectivity, the test result is displayed on the user’s smartphone in 15 minutes or less.
In data submitted to the FDA from an independently run, simulated home-setting clinical study of 198 subjects ranging in age from 2 years to 82 years, the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test demonstrated 96% accuracy, with an overall sensitivity of 95% (positive percent agreement) and specificity of 97% (negative percent agreement) when compared to an emergency use-authorized RT-PCR laboratory test.
In individuals presenting with COVID-19 symptoms, the Ellume COVID-19 Home Test demonstrated a sensitivity of 96% and specificity of 100%, and in asymptomatic individuals, the test demonstrated a sensitivity of 91% and specificity of 96%.
This level of accuracy across both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals is crucial in mitigating the spread of an infectious disease like COVID-19, which can be spread unknowingly. The clinical study cohort was designed to be widely representative of ages and genders and spanned five testing locations in California, Texas, Alabama, Maryland and Louisiana.
A further independent analytical evaluation was conducted by Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for the NIH RADx Tech program and determined that of the rapid antigen tests evaluated by the RADx Testing Core at the time, Ellume’s at-home COVID-19 antigen test demonstrated premium performance.
How does it work?
The test includes a sterile Nasal Swab, a Dropper, Processing Fluid, and a Bluetooth connected Analyzer for use with an app on the user’s smartphone. Utilizing the dedicated app, the user follows step-by-step video instructions to perform the test including a self-collected mid-turbinate nasal swab. The sample is analyzed, and results are automatically transmitted to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth in 15 minutes or less. Results can be shared with healthcare professionals to enable optimal therapy.
Through a secure cloud connection, Ellume’s COVID-19 Home Test can provide real-time reporting of test results to health authorities, employers, and educators, for efficient COVID-19 mapping.
On the record
“As COVID-19 case numbers hit record highs, the world needs access to fast, affordable, easy-to-use home testing,” said Ellume founder and CEO, Dr. Sean Parsons. “Ellume’s COVID-19 Home Test delivers this important first line of defense – it can be widely available without the need for a prescription, enabling the U.S. to respond to the pandemic in its most urgent stage.”
Ellume has been able to fast-track the development of its range of COVID-19 diagnostic tests with the support of a $30 million WP-2 grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative.
In order to meet anticipated demand, Ellume has expanded its manufacturing facility in Brisbane, Australia, the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and is rapidly expanding its manufacturing efforts and supply chain within the U.S. Production has already commenced and Ellume will be shipping over 100,000 tests per day from next month. Ellume plans to manufacture and deliver 20 million Ellume COVID-19 Home Tests to the U.S. within the first half of 2021.