The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the launch of Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx), a national initiative aimed at speeding innovation, development, and commercialization of COVID-19 diagnostic technologies. This $1.5 billion stimulus investment complements the NIH’s ongoing Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines public-private partnership.
The NIH, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), will invest in early innovative technologies to speed the development of widely accessible COVID-19 testing. Additionally, the RADx initiative will advance existing diagnostic technologies through the development pipeline towards commercialization and broad availability.
The NIH is encouraging all scientists and inventors with a rapid testing technology to compete in a national COVID-19 testing challenge for a share of up to $500 million over all phases of development. The RADx initiative will put the technologies through a rapid three-phase selection process to identify the best candidates for at-home or point-of-care tests for COVID-19 and match finalists with technical and manufacturing experts to increase the odds of success. The NIH states that the goal is to make millions of accurate and easy-to-use tests per week available by the end of summer 2020.