$45 Million Awarded To Enhance Coronavirus Testing 

RADx-UP aims to enhance diagnostic testing of populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19
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Maryland (Coronavirus Today)

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced it has awarded nearly $45 million to expand the research network of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program, adding 20 institutions and seven states and territories.

These new NIH grants will strengthen available data on disparities in coronavirus infection rates and COVID-19 disease progression and outcomes and improve understanding of differences in testing access and uptake patterns.

RADx-UP stated in a press release ‘it aims to enhance COVID-19 testing of populations disproportionately affected by the disease, including African Americans, American Indians/Alaskan Natives, Latinos/Latinas, Native Hawaiians, older adults, pregnant women, and those who are homeless or incarcerated.’

The NIH’s RADx initiative was launched on April 29, 2020, ‘to speed innovation in the development, commercialization, and implementation of technologies for COVID-19 testing.’

As of November 25, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated data indicates about 181 million diagnostic tests, excluding antibody, and antigen tests, were performed to confirm if a person has a SARS-CoV-2 infection during 2020.

This second round of NIH awards brings the total investment in the RADx-UP program to more than $283 million at 55 institutions across 33 states and territories and the Cherokee Nation.

Previously, the NIH, working in collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, announced on October 6, 2020, six new Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative contracts total $98.35 million for point-of-care and other novel test approaches that provide new modes of sample collection, processing, and return of results.

‘Innovations in these new technologies include integration with smart devices, mobile-lab processing that can be deployed to COVID-19 hot spots, and test results available within minutes,’ commented the NIH.

The RADx initiative was launched on April 29, 2020, to speed innovation in the development, commercialization, and implementation of technologies for COVID-19 testing. The initiative has four programs: RADx Tech, RADx Advanced Technology Platforms, RADx Underserved Populations, and RADx Radical. It leverages the existing NIH Point-of-Care Technology Research Network.

The NIH is the US government’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.

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