NIH Mobilizes National Innovation Initiative for COVID-19 Diagnostics to Speed Delivery of Accurate, Easy-to-Use, Scalable Tests to All Americans; Initiative Has $1.5 Billion in Funding & Will Implement “Shark Tank”-Like Competition Amongst Innovators

On April 29, 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a new initiative aimed at speeding innovation, development, and commercialization of COVID-19 testing technologies, a pivotal component needed to return to normal during this unprecedented global pandemic. With a $1.5 billion investment from federal stimulus funding, the newly launched Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative (see table at end) will infuse funding into early innovative technologies to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing. At the same time, NIH will seek opportunities to move more advanced diagnostic technologies swiftly through the development pipeline toward commercialization and broad availability. NIH will work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 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 strong research efforts already underway that are 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.“We need all innovators, from the basement to the boardroom, to come together to advance diagnostic technologies, no matter where they are in development,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD.
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