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RADx Issues $77.7M in New Contracts for SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Diagnostic Tests

NEW YORK – The National Institutes of Health's Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative announced on Thursday that it has awarded $77.7 million to develop and manufacture 12 new rapid diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The money will be used to support the development, validation, scale-up, and manufacturing of at-home and point-of-care tests, some of which will be brought to market this year, NIH said in a statement.

The companies and organizations receiving grants are: Detect, Palogen, Quidel, Uh-Oh Labs, the University of California, Los Angeles; Becton Dickinson; Ellume; Luminostics; LumiraDx; and Princeton BioMeditech. Five of the grants are for tests detecting viral RNA, and six are for viral antigen detection.

While RADx didn't specify the contract amounts for each company, Detect announced that it received $8.1 million to develop and scale up manufacturing of its Detect COVID-19 Test, an at-home nucleic acid amplification test that provides results in an hour.

The projects are part of the RADx Tech program, which involves an assessment of a test concept conducted by a panel of technical, regulatory, and business experts.

"These technologies represent important innovations to address the need for ready access to rapid, low-costs tests everywhere in the country, including in every home," Bruce Tromberg, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and lead for RADx Tech, said in a statement.

"The potential to test simultaneously for multiple types of infection at the point of care is a new frontier that we hope to advance and could be a major step toward transforming US healthcare."

RADx has previously awarded 33 contracts, with 32 projects receiving Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration.

The RADx funding comes after President Joe Biden announced his COVID-19 Action Plan last month, which emphasized the importance of rapid at-home and POC tests.