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NIH mobilizes national innovation initiative for COVID-19 diagnostics.

With a $1.5 billion investment from federal stimulus funding, the newly launched Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative will infuse funding into early innovative technologies to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. At the same time, the NIH said it will seek opportunities to move more advanced diagnostic technologies swiftly through the development pipeline toward commercialization and broad availability.

The NIH said it will work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to advance these goals.

The stimulus investment supercharges NIH's research efforts already underway focused on prevention and treatment of COVID-19, including the recently announced planned Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines public-private partnership to coordinate the international research response to the pandemic.

As part of this initiative, the NIH said is urging all scientists and inventors with a rapid testing technology to compete in a national COVID-19 testing challenge for a share of up to $500 million over all phases of development.

The technologies will be put through a highly competitive, rapid three-phase selection process to identify the best candidates for at-home or point-of-care (POC) tests for COVID-19. Finalists will be matched with technical, business and manufacturing experts to increase the odds of success. If certain selected technologies are already relatively far along in development, they can be put on a separate track and be immediately advanced to the appropriate step in the commercialization process.

The goal is to make millions of accurate and easy-to-use tests per week available to all Americans by the end of summer 2020, and even more in time for the flu season.

While diagnostic testing has long been a mainstay of public health, newer technologies offer patient- and user-friendly designs, mobile-device integration, reduced cost and increased accessibility both at home and at the point of care. RADx will expand the Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network (POCTRN) established several years ago by NIBIB.

Led by the Coordinating Center at CIMIT, the network has assembled expert review boards covering scientific, clinical, regulatory and business domains that will rapidly evaluate technology proposals. Projects will be assessed at each milestone and must demonstrate significant progress to receive continued support.

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Title Annotation:THE OBSERVATORY :: NEWS: TRENDS: ANALYSIS
Publication:Medical Laboratory Observer
Date:Jun 1, 2020
Words:374
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