Issuing Office: Center for Devices and Radiological Health

United States


WARNING LETTER

Date: July 26, 2021

RE: Adulterated and Misbranded Products Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

This is to advise you that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed your website at the Internet address hometestbox.com on March 3, 2021 and again on April 1, 2021. The FDA has observed that hometestbox.com offers for sale a VIVERA + OMECARE Home Specimen Collection Kit (also referred to as “COVx-HT” and “RT-PCR Test”) (hereinafter referred to as “COVxHT Kit”), for sale in the United States directly to consumers. Based on our review, your COVxHT Kit is intended for use in the mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or cure of COVID-191 in people, and thus, it is a device under section 201(h) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the “Act”), 21 U.S.C. § 321(h).

The COVxHT Kit is offered for sale directly to consumers in the United States without marketing approval, clearance, or authorization from FDA. Accordingly, the COVxHT Kit is adulterated under section 501(f)(1)(B) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 351(f)(1)(B), because your firm does not have an approved application for premarket approval (PMA) in effect pursuant to section 515(a) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360e(a), or an approved application for an investigational device exemption (IDE) under section 520(g) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360j(g). The COVxHT Kit is also misbranded under section 502(o) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 352(o), because your firm did not notify the agency of its intent to introduce the device into commercial distribution, as required by section 510(k) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360(k). The introduction or delivery for introduction of this product into interstate commerce is prohibited under section 301(a) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 331(a). In addition, it is a prohibited act under section 301(k) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 331(k), to do any act with respect to a device while the device is held for sale after shipment in interstate commerce and results in the device being misbranded.

There is currently a global outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that has been named “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2). The disease caused by the virus has been named “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19). On January 31, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a declaration of a public health emergency related to COVID-19 and mobilized the Operating Divisions of HHS.2 In addition, on March 13, 2020, the President declared a national emergency in response to COVID-19.3 Therefore, FDA is taking urgent measures to protect consumers from certain products that, without approval, clearance, or authorization by FDA, claim to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people. As described herein, you sell a product that is intended for use in the mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or cure of COVID-19 in people. We request that you take immediate action to cease the sale of such unapproved, uncleared, and unauthorized products for use in the mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or cure of COVID-19.

For more information about FDA’s regulation of devices used to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19; frequently asked questions; and other helpful resources, visit our website at https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/coronavirus-covid-19-and-medical-devices. In addition, the guidance titled “Policy for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Tests During the Public Health Emergency (Revised)”4 provides information about FDA’s policies intended to help expand testing capacity by facilitating the development and use of COVID-19 tests during the public health emergency.

You should take immediate action to address the violations cited in this letter. This letter is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of violations that exist in connection with your products or operations. It is your responsibility to ensure that the products you sell are in compliance with the Act and its implementing regulations. We advise you to review your websites, product labels, and other labeling and promotional materials to ensure that you are not misleadingly representing your products as safe and/or effective for a COVID-19-related use for which they have not been approved, cleared, or authorized by FDA and that you do not make claims that adulterate or misbrand the products in violation of the Act. Within 48 hours, please send an email to [email protected] describing the specific steps you have taken to address these violations. Include an explanation of each step being taken to prevent the recurrence of any violations, as well as copies of related documentation. Failure to adequately correct any violations may result in legal action, including, without limitation, seizure and injunction.

FDA is advising consumers not to purchase or use certain products that are not in compliance with FDA requirements and are being misleadingly represented as safe and/or effective for the mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or cure of COVID-19. Your firm will be added to a published list on FDA's website of firms and websites that have received warning letters from FDA concerning the sale or distribution of COVID-19 related products in violation of the Act. This list can be found at https://www.fda.gov/consumers/health-fraud-scams/fraudulent-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-products. Once you have taken actions to address the sale of your unapproved, uncleared, and unauthorized products for the mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or cure of COVID-19, and any appropriate actions have been confirmed by the FDA, the published list will be updated to indicate that your firm has taken such corrective actions.

This letter notifies you of our concerns and provides you with an opportunity to address them. If you cannot take action to address this matter completely within 48 hours, state the reason for the delay and the time within which you will do so. If you believe that your product is not in violation of the Act, include your reasoning and any supporting information for our consideration.

Please direct any inquiries to FDA at [email protected]

Sincerely,
/S/

Timothy T. Stenzel, M.D., Ph.D.
Director
OHT7: Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and
   Radiological Health
Office of Product Evaluation and Quality
Center for Devices and Radiological Health

CC: [email protected]

Michael Nova MD Ph.D.
Chief Innovation Officer and Founder
Ome Ventures Inc.
6777 Nancy Ridge Drive,
San Diego, CA 92121

CC: [email protected]

Blackbirdgroupllc
3121 Standard Street
Bakersfield, California 93308

_____________________________

1 As explained below, there is currently an outbreak of a respiratory disease named “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19).

2 Secretary of Health and Human Services, Determination that a Public Health Emergency Exists (originally issued Jan. 31, 2020 and subsequently renewed), available at https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/phe/Pages/default.aspx).

3 Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak (Mar. 13, 2020), available at https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/presidential-actions/proclamationdeclaring-national-emergency-concerning-novel-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak/.

4 Accessible at https://www.fda.gov/media/135659/download.