BETHESDA, Md. & AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics, an innovative molecular tool, assay and vaccine development company focused on serving unmet critical needs in both developed and developing nations, today announced that it is donating one million tubes of its PrimeStore® Molecular Transport Medium (MTM) to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to improve the safety and efficacy of the IOM’s COVID-19 testing capabilities.
The donation follows the IOM’s April 2020 selection of PrimeStore MTM as its sample collection medium for COVID-19 testing to eliminate the need for biological safety cabinets. Longhorn and other organizations will cover the cost of shipping the tubes internationally as the IOM provides testing, among other services, to migrants in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IOM is an inter-governmental organization dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration, with 173 member states, nine states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries. The IOM works to ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, promote international cooperation on migration issues, assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.
“The worldwide viral outbreak of COVID-19 has increased the importance of being prepared with safe and accurate molecular testing, but many communities throughout the world still lack proper access,” said Jeff Fischer, President of Longhorn. “We were founded 15 years ago to fight global pandemics, and as a veteran-operated company we fully understand the importance of answering the call. Migrants face significant challenges in accessing quality testing for infectious diseases. Prior to the Pandemic, we validated our oral swab-based screening kit for tuberculosis (PrimeScreen™ MTB) in a migrant community in South Africa and have continued to support testing at that site. We are eager to expand our support for migrant communities through this donation to the IOM. Everyone at Longhorn is dedicated to improving access to medicine and we are working to make a difference in marginalized communities who have been hard hit by the pandemic, as well as endemic disease.”
About PrimeStore® MTM
PrimeStore® MTM is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared nucleic transport device that inactivates SARS-CoV-2 within the device during collection and transit. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, inactivated samples can be transferred to point of care devices and laboratory-based molecular testing equipment without requiring a biological safety cabinet, reducing the time between collection and results. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Longhorn has driven COVID-19 testing by distributing more than 35 million PrimeStore® MTM tubes to providers in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
About PrimeScreen™ MTB
PrimeScreen™ MTB is a commercial tuberculosis triage oral screening kit, which includes PrimeStore® MTM, that detects MTB DNA in the oral cavity for further diagnostic and clinical evaluation. The complete kit has been tested on over 1,000 individuals with additional participants receiving screenings each week. Results are consistent across studies on three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe.
About Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics
Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics is an innovative molecular tool, assay and vaccine development company focused on serving unmet critical needs in both developed and developing nations. Longhorn’s core product, PrimeStore® Molecular Transport Medium (MTM), is a patented, FDA approved, state-of-the-art ambient temperature molecular diagnostic collection and transport device that can help governments, global health organizations and drug manufacturers improve the diagnosis and treatment of highly infectious diseases such as Influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). Unlike standard devices for collecting and transporting TB samples, PrimeStore® MTM is the first molecular transport device that can safely deactivate pathogens and stabilize RNA and DNA, allowing enhanced point of care and ambient temperature transport for laboratory based molecular testing and characterization. Longhorn is based in Bethesda, Maryland with a diagnostic research and development facility in San Antonio, TX.