OraSure Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSUR) saw an uptick in the demand for its microbiome sampling product called OMNIgene.GUT following a positive recommendation by a team of researchers who evaluated the kit. OMNIgene.GUT is produced by OraSure’s 100% owned subsidiary called DNA Genotek. The microbiome is the ecosystem of bacteria and other microorganisms in the human gut.
Researchers at Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) decided to evaluate OraSure’s OMNIgene.GUT and ended up comparing its performance to that of existing accepted microbiome sampling methods such as fresh and frozen samples.
After the study, the researchers concluded that OMNIgene.GUT simplified shipping of samples, supported automation and ambient temperature storage. With that, the researchers recommended that OraSure’s OMNIgene.GUT become a standardized test for global studies of the human microbiome.
As such, the scientists have made a proposal for OMNIgene.GUT to be a standardized sample collection and stabilization kit. They argue that standardization of OMNIgene.GUT would ensure more accurate downstream outcomes in microbiome studies.
The study by HLI researchers was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Availability of OMNIgene.GUT
OraSure’s OMNIgene.GUT is sold in the U.S., but it is currently intended for laboratory use only. The product has not been cleared by the FDA for commercialization and that means that it is not officially recommended for diagnostic procedures.
OMNIgene.GUT has also been made available in markets outside the U .S. for in vitro diagnostic application.
The proposal for standardization of OMNIgene.GUT for microbiome studies adds to the positive news that has been coming out of OraSure of late. The company recently won a government contract that will give it access to up to $16.6 million in funding to go toward the development of its rapid Zika virus testing program.
OraSure is developing an oral test for Zika virus, which it says will ensure that the virus can be detected faster in a patient’s body.
OraSure will initially receive $7 million under the government contract with the balance of $9.6 million being released later. One of the reported reasons that the government has decided to invest in the comopany is that it wants to company to speed the development of its oral test for the Zika virus.