The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was discovered in China in December 2019. Since then, more than two million people have died from COVID, including over 400,000 in the U.S. alone. COVID-19 rapid testing has become crucial because even in the absence of symptoms, people need to know if they're at risk of spreading the virus. People who test positive via a COVID-19 rapid test can isolate, get treatment, or be hospitalized early on in the disease process. Also, those infected can have their contacts traced easier and quarantine sooner to help minimize the coronavirus's spread.

Testing that is rapid and accurate, along with tracing and isolation, is key to controlling the pandemic. Due to receiving a U.S. Government contract and an emergency authorization from the FDA, Cue Health is ramping up the manufacture of their COVID rapid tests. AG Scientific's protease inhibitor cocktail is an important component of Cue Health's new COVID-19 rapid diagnostic test. It's yet another example of how AG Scientific supplies protease & phosphatase inhibitors for all life science applications.

Cue Health Wins Government Grant and FDA Authorization for COVID-19 Rapid Tests

Cue Health is a San Diego-based health technology company that develops and manufactures portable diagnostic testing designed to protect human health. On October 13, 2020, it was announced that Cue Health had been awarded a $481 million contract from the Department of Health and Human Services and, in collaboration with the Department of Defense, to produce more COVID-19 rapid tests. They were also granted authorization for the emergency use of their quick test by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, Cue Health has been ramping up production to 100,000 tests per day by March 2021. They plan to deliver a total of 6 million tests and 30,000 instruments to the government to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Cue Health COVID-19 Rapid Test Kit

Cue Health's Rapid Testing COVID-19 Protocol Shows Results Within 25 Minutes

The Cue COVID-19 rapid test is a portable unit that fits in the palm of your hand. This molecular in-vitro diagnostic test is based on nucleic acid isothermal amplification technology. The test itself contains primers, probes, and internal controls to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in nasal specimens taken from the lower part of the nose. It's an all-in-one single-use system that contains both a nasal swab and cartridge. The system performs an analysis of the specimen and sends the results to a connected mobile device with the Cue Health Mobile App. Some of the benefits of the test include:

  • Can detect very low quantities of the virus
  • Strong sensitivity rate
  • Any healthcare provider can use the product in any setting
  • Data and results are provided via a mobile app


Point-of-Care Applications

Cue Health's rapid testing COVID-19 kits have already been used as part of a pilot program with the National Basketball Association (NBA). The COVID-19 testing was provided for the 2020 NBA Bubble and proved to be extremely effective at preventing the virus's spread. The NBA Bubble (also known as the Orlando or Disney Bubble) was a zone that was designated for isolation to prevent the spread of the virus among the NBA players, coaches, and staff during the 2019-20 season and the 2020 playoff competitions.

Twenty-two teams played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and stayed at Disney World hotels. Of those that participated in the bubble, there were no reported cases of COVID-19. The FDA allows these point-of-care rapid tests to be used under medical supervision. Cue Health intends to seek authorization for use in workplaces, schools, and homes. For now, Cue Health will focus its testing on leading healthcare institutions and then various healthcare settings nationwide.

How Protease Inhibitors are Used in Diagnostic Testing Kits

Protease inhibitors are essential components of diagnostic testing kits such as Cue Health's rapid COVID-19 tests. AG Scientific produces the Protease Inhibitor Cocktail II, which contains five broad specificity inhibitors of aspartic, cysteine, serine, metalloproteases, and aminopeptidases. Protease inhibitors are capable of stopping a test sample from being degraded.


In Cue Health's rapid test, AG Scientific's Protease Inhibitor Cocktail II acts as a sort of "buffer" within the diagnostic cartridge so that the test sample is stabilized. Without these inhibitors, enzymes would be released and degrade proteins to be tested for, in this case, COVID-19 antigens found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As such, AG Scientific has become an important producer of a wide range of vital components necessary for testing and other applications.


Your Ally in Discovery

It's clear to see how AG Scientific has been instrumental in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to COVID-19 and other diagnostic testing, AG Scientific supplies protease and phosphatase inhibitors for all life science applications. For more information about how our products can be used to accelerate your research, testing, and health goals, contact us today.


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  1. Protease Inhibitor Cocktail I | AEBSF,Aprotinin, E-64, EDTA,Leupeptin
    Protease Inhibitor Cocktail I

    Starting at $40.78

  2. Protease Inhibitor Cocktail II | Inhibitors | AG Scientific - proteomic biomarker preservation agent contains AEBSF.HCl Bestatin E-64 EDTA Pepstatin A
    Protease Inhibitor Cocktail II

    Starting at $55.94

  3. Protease Inhibitor Cocktail III | Inhibitors | AG Scientific
    Protease Inhibitor Cocktail III

    Starting at $57.05

  4. Protease Inhibitor Cocktail IV | Inhibitors | AG Scientific
    Protease Inhibitor Cocktail IV

    Starting at $63.36

  5. Protease Inhibitor Cocktail V, EDTA-free | Inhibitors | AG Scientific
    Protease Inhibitor Cocktail V, EDTA-Free

    Starting at $52.17

  6. Protease Inhibitor Cocktail VI (General Use) | AG Scientific
    Protease Inhibitor Cocktail VI

    Starting at $40.82

  7. Protease Inhibitor Cocktail VII  | For HIS / TAG Proteins | AG Sci
    Protease Inhibitor Cocktail VII (for His Tag Sequences)

    Starting at $72.13

  8. Protease Inhibitor Cocktail VIII | Cysteine Protease | AG Scientific
    Protease Inhibitor Cocktail VIII

    Starting at $69.92


8 Items

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