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Broad Institute

The test, which detects the SARS-CoV-2 N gene, was previously granted Emergency Use Authorization for use with samples collected by a healthcare provider.

A pair of studies published this week present an analysis of a real, large-scale testing pooling effort as well as analyses of how to further improve such strategies.

The pace of development for CRISPR-based infectious disease assays increased as the pandemic progressed, more funding became available, and collaboration accelerated. 

The reissued EUA expands the types of samples that may be used with the Broad Institute's PCR-based SARS-CoV-2 test, which was first authorized in July.

The Assurance Testing Alliance will handle the logistics and operations required to connect labs with groups in need of regular SARS-CoV-2 testing.

The diagnostics are capable of detecting fewer than two parasites per microliter of blood and would cost an estimated $.61 per test.

Some of the firms will receive money to speed up test development, while others will use the funds to expand their testing and manufacturing capacity.

A number of diagnostic labs have considered saliva-based SARS-CoV-2 testing but decided against it, while other groups continue to pursue it.

UCSF's test, developed with Mammoth Biosciences, uses CRISPR technology, while the tests from the Broad Institute and BioSewoom are PCR-based.

Assays like SwabSeq, Dx-Seq, and LAMP-Seq promise to analyze tens to hundreds of thousands of samples in parallel but might be constrained by sample availability.

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