National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

RADx expands COVID-19 home and point-of-care testing, wastewater surveillance

Four contracts awarded for over $65 million

Newswise — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced three new contracts and one new award to an existing contract for scale-up and manufacturing of novel COVID-19 testing technologies. The four Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADxSM) initiative contracts total $65.6 million for home and point-of-care testing and the development and implementation of wastewater-based surveillance systems.

NIH launched the RADxSM initiative to speed innovation for COVID-19 testing. There are four RADx programs: 

These awards are part of the RADx Tech program, which has aimed to speed innovation at an unprecedented pace to develop, commercialize and implement COVID-19 diagnostics. Testing has been a key mitigation strategy to help reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and will help the world return to normal activities. Many states eased restrictions after seeing a steady decline in COVID-19 cases and an increase in COVID-19 vaccinations. As businesses opened, however, states saw growing numbers of COVID-19 cases again and increases in the prevalence of COVID-19 variants.

“Vaccinations are a huge plus, but not everyone is vaccinated yet and COVID-19 cases are increasing in many areas, so continued testing is critical,” says Bruce J. Tromberg, Ph.D., director of the National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and lead of RADx Tech. “This round of projects will help provide more options for testing and surveillance at businesses, schools, airports and households as we re-open. Wastewater surveillance could prove to be another invaluable checkpoint in stopping the spread of the virus and its many variants.”

This announcement includes additional support for Ceres Nanosciences and builds on their previous award made in September 2020 to manufacture Nanotrap particles that extract and concentrate the virus for more rapid and accurate testing in lab and point of care tests. Now the particles are being used to capture, extract, and concentrate virus directly from raw sewage before detection by RT-PCR. The particles are twenty times faster than other gold standard filtration methods. New methods to continue monitoring SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the population will help public health officials make informed decisions. One way to measure transmission in communities is to monitor and test wastewater. Wastewater surveillance can provide an early indicator of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, allowing targeted adjustments to public health policies to help affected communities. It can help stem cases before hospitals and healthcare systems get overwhelmed.  Many other countries are already using wastewater epidemiology for surveillance of COVID-19.

Ceres will work with Emory University to build and implement a wastewater-based COVID-19 surveillance framework in metro Atlanta. The framework will focus on underserved and vulnerable populations. By Fall 2021, Ceres will expand its wastewater surveillance method to 15 community sites throughout the country.

RADx is also continuing the emphasis on expanding rapid, accessible tests for home and the point of care, such as businesses, doctors’ offices and clinics. Three additional contracts were awarded to expand the arsenal of tests available to open the country fully and safely.

The following companies have achieved key RADx Tech milestones and will receive support for manufacturing and scale-up:

Point-of-Care and Home Tests

Mologic Inc, New Gloucester, ME

A lateral flow immunoassay capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2 with visually-read results in 20 minutes. The unique design integrates all the test components into one cartridge to enable easy use by the individual performing the test. The nasal swab antigen test is intended to be used in point-of-care settings and at home.

Qorvo Biotechnologies LLC., Plymouth, MN

A SARS-CoV-2 antigen test that uses an acoustic biosensor for detection in 20 minutes to achieve near- PCR-level accuracy. The test uses nasal swabs and can be performed by a trained healthcare professional. It returns rapid results in point-of-care settings like a doctor’s office, nursing home, workplace or airport. In the future, the test may be combined with the flu test.  

Minute Molecular Diagnostics, Evanston, IL

A RT-PCR device with single-use cartridges that detect SARS-CoV-2 in 15 minutes at the point of care. The test uses nasal swabs and is suitable for K-12 schools, universities, healthcare facilities and businesses.

Wastewater Surveillance

Ceres Nanoscience Inc, Manassas, Virginia

A sample prep method using Nanotrap particles that extracts and concentrates viral material to reduce processing time and improve sensitivity. This method can be used on a variety of testing platforms, from point-of-care systems to high-throughput laboratory processes, to improve speed and performance by 2- to 10-fold. The particles can be used to extract the virus from many types of samples including nasal, saliva, blood and wastewater.



Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5855
Released: 22-Jun-2021 12:30 PM EDT
Political Variables Carried More Weight Than Healthcare in Government Response to COVID-19
Binghamton University, State University of New York

Political institutions such as the timing of elections and presidentialism had a larger influence on COVID-19 strategies than the institutions organizing national healthcare, according to a research team led by a professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

22-Jun-2021 12:00 PM EDT
Study Testing How Well COVID-19 Vaccine Prevents Infection and Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Among University Students Now Expands to Include Young Adults Beyond the University Setting
Covid-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN)

The Prevent COVID U study, which launched in late March 2021 to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission among university students vaccinated with the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, has expanded beyond the university setting to enroll young adults ages 18 through 29 years and will now also include people in this age group who choose not to receive a vaccine.

Newswise: First Wave COVID-19 Data Underestimated Pandemic Infections
18-Jun-2021 8:30 AM EDT
First Wave COVID-19 Data Underestimated Pandemic Infections
American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Two COVID-19 pandemic curves emerged within many cities during the one-year period from March 2020 to March 2021. Oddly, the number of total daily infections reported during the first wave is much lower than that of the second, but the total number of daily deaths reported during the first wave is much higher than the second wave.

Newswise: PNNL AI Expert Harnesses Open-Source Data to Understand Human Behavior
Released: 22-Jun-2021 9:55 AM EDT
PNNL AI Expert Harnesses Open-Source Data to Understand Human Behavior
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

PNNL researchers used natural language processing and deep learning techniques to reveal how and why different types of misinformation and disinformation spread across social platforms. Applied to COVID-19, the team found that misinformation intended to influence politics and incite fear spreads fastest.

Released: 22-Jun-2021 8:30 AM EDT
Engineering Nanobodies As Lifesavers When SARS-CoV-2 Variants Attack
Ohio State University

Scientists are pursuing a new strategy in the protracted fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus by engineering nanobodies that can neutralize virus variants in two different ways.

Released: 21-Jun-2021 3:45 PM EDT
Rare Neurological Disorder Documented Following COVID-19 Vaccination
American Neurological Association (ANA)

In two separate articles in the Annals of Neurology, clinicians in India and England report cases of a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome after individuals were vaccinated against COVID-19.

Newswise: New Analysis reveals link between birthdays and COVID-19 spread during the height of the pandemic
17-Jun-2021 12:10 PM EDT
New Analysis reveals link between birthdays and COVID-19 spread during the height of the pandemic
Harvard Medical School

Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection increased 30 percent for households with a recent birthday in counties with high rates of COVID-19 Findings suggest informal social gatherings such as birthday parties played role in infection spread at the height of the coronavirus pandemic No birthday-bash infection jumps seen in areas with low rates of COVID-19 Households with children’s birthdays had greater risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection than with adult birthdays

Newswise: COVID-19 dual-antibody therapies effective against variants in animal study
Released: 21-Jun-2021 10:05 AM EDT
COVID-19 dual-antibody therapies effective against variants in animal study
Washington University in St. Louis

A study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that many, but not all, COVID-19 therapies made from combinations of two antibodies are effective against a wide range of virus variants, and that combination therapies appear to prevent the emergence of drug resistance.

13-Jun-2021 12:05 PM EDT
COVID-19 Pandemic Drinking: Increases Among Women, Black Adults, and People with Children
Research Society on Alcoholism

Risky drinking has been a public health concern in the U.S. for decades, but the significant increase in retail alcohol sales following COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders in particular raised red flags for alcohol researchers. New research has assessed changes in alcohol drinking patterns from before to after the enactment of stay-at-home orders. These results and others will be shared at the 44th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), which will be held virtually this year from the 19th - 23rd of June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

13-Jun-2021 1:05 PM EDT
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Alcohol Consumption Is Far From ‘One Size Fits All’
Research Society on Alcoholism

An ongoing analysis of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on alcohol and related outcomes shows that COVID-related stressors experienced by study participants – including work-, financial-, and family-related stressors – are having a varied impact on individuals with and without alcohol use disorders (AUDs). These results will be shared at the 44th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), which will be held virtually this year from the 19th - 23rd of June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Showing results

110 of 5855

close
1.01818