FDA clears first at-home OTC COVID-19 test via traditional premarket review pathway


The FDA has given marketing authorization to Cue Health Inc. for the Cue COVID-19 Molecular Test. The product is a molecular nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) that is intended to detect genetic material from SARS-CoV-2 virus present in nasal swabs from adults with signs and symptoms of upper respiratory infection. This test is the first at-home over-the-counter (OTC) test for COVID-19 to be granted marketing authorization using a traditional premarket review pathway and the first ever at-home test authorized using a traditional premarket review pathway for any respiratory illness. 

“Today’s authorization is the first at-home COVID-19 test granted marketing authorization outside of emergency use authorities, representing a new era of consumer access to diagnostic tests that can be performed entirely at home,” said Jeff Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “The FDA continues to proactively work with test developers that desire to market their products beyond emergency use authorities. This is part of the FDA’s broader effort to advance the development and availability of at-home tests for a variety of medical conditions to expand patient access to testing.”

The Cue COVID-19 Molecular Test consists of a single-use Cue COVID-19 test cartridge, a single-use Cue sample wand (nasal swab), and the Cue cartridge reader (sold separately). The test also uses the Cue Health app, which displays results when the test is complete. The reusable, battery-operated Cue Cartridge Reader runs the Cue Test Cartridge and communicates results directly to the app in about 20 minutes. In a study reviewed by the FDA, this test correctly identified 98.7% of negative and 92.9% of positive samples in individuals with signs and symptoms of upper respiratory infection.

Source: FDA News Release