NIH to boost COVID-19 testing capabilities

[Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash]

The National Institutes of Health announced a $129.3 million plan to support scaling and manufacturing for COVID-19 tests.

As part of its Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative, NIH is awarding contracts to nine companies for their technologies that include portable point-of-care tests for immediate results and high-throughput laboratories that can produce results in 24 hours.

Yesterday’s announcement follows a July investment in seven companies from NIH worth $248.7 million in new technologies to address challenges with COVID-19 testing.

Some of the testing technologies are also being supported by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) as part of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, along with Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in the U.S. Defense Dept.

Here are the nine co…

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HHS puts $6.5M more toward COVID-19 testing

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said today it will provide a total of $6.5 million to help two commercial diagnostic laboratories to expand capacity to conduct up to 4 million additional diagnostic tests for COVID-19 per month.

The investments in Aegis Sciences (Nashville, Tenn.) and in Sonic Healthcare USA (Austin, Texas) will provide laboratory equipment supplied by Beckman Coulter and Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE:TMO) and increase staffing and infrastructure to boost testing nationwide by an  additional 1 million tests each week by early October, according to the agency.

Aegis will add laboratory staff and begin construction on new lab space at its Nashville testing facilities to meet its goal of processing more than 60,000 test samples per day beginning in September. Aegis has agreed to partner with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health to perform testing of samples from select locations with vulnerable populations, accor…

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