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U of Arkansas partners with NOWDiagnostics on study of on-campus COVID-19 antibody prevalence


By David Schwartz
Published: June 22nd, 2021

Months after receiving European approval for its rapid COVID-19 antibody test as well as U.S. FDA emergency use authorization, NOWDiagnostics is partnering with the University of Arkansas to study the prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies among U of A students, staff and faculty.

The Arkansas-based company developed the test – now trademarked as ADEXUSDx –using technology created with the help of university researchers. The fingerstick test accurately returns results in 15 minutes, and the company is now conducting trials for over-the-counter use in the U.S.

The campus study is designed to estimate the seropositive prevalence of COVID-19 in the U of Arkansas campus community and evaluate whether that prevalence significantly changes over time, potentially informing policy decisions regarding reopening schools and businesses. Enrollment began in March, and each participant will be screened three times over a period of four months.

“This study simultaneously accomplishes an in-depth study of how prevalent COVID-19 is among our campus community of students, staff and faculty, which gives us information on the effectiveness of our pandemic public health policy,” said lead researcher Donald G.Catanzaro, research assistant professor in biological sciences. “Secondly, it assists NOWDiagnostics in understanding the performance of their innovative antibody test and, very importantly, this study gives our talented team of undergraduate researchers experience in clinical research. It really is a triple win.”

Chemical engineering associate professor Shannon Servoss, a former member of the ADEXUSDx team at NOWDiagnostics, is the co-principal investigator of the study with Cantanzaro, along with co-principal investigator Shengfan Zhang, associate professor of industrial engineering.

“The efforts of University of Arkansas researchers and the team at NOWDiagnostics serve as an excellent example of a public-private collaboration that is built on a longstanding relationship,” said Bob Beitle, professor of chemical engineering and associate vice chancellor for research and innovation. “U of A faculty are encouraged to seek out these connections — especially with Arkansas-based companies — to elevate the entire community.”

“NOWDiagnostics is the beneficiary of a best-in-class workforce, largely sourced from the University of Arkansas. Additionally, the company maintains active collaborations with U of A faculty that drive discoveries and lead to improved clinical outcomes,” added Beth Cobb, the company’s chief operating officer.

Source: University of Arkansas News

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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