NIH puts $249m into new COVID-19 tests

Quidel’s Sofia 2 point-of-care COVID-19 test. (Image from Quidel/NIH)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that it is investing $248.7 million in new technologies to address challenges with COVID-19 testing.

The “Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics” (RADx) initiative awarded contracts to seven biomedical diagnostic companies to support lab-based and point-of-care tests that could significantly increase the number, type and availability of tests by millions per week as early as September 2020, according to a news release.

Four of the selected technologies offer innovations in laboratory-based testing, including next-generation sequencing, CRISPR and integrated microfluidic chips for increasing testing capacity and throughput while reducing the time needed to receive results.

Remaining are three point-of-care technologies that provide nucleic acid and viral anti…

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