RADx: Racing to Develop Fast, Affordable, Accessible Tests for COVID-19

“Developing faster, more convenient ways of testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will be essential to our efforts to end this deadly pandemic. Despite the tremendous strides that have been made in diagnostics over the past seven months, we still need more innovation.”

So says Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director, in an article posted on the NIH Director’s Blog on July 23rd. Dr. Collins goes on to describe the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) program which NIH launched in late April 2020, to spur new approaches to rapidly expand testing.

“This fast-paced, innovative effort, conducted in partnership with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and the Department of Defense, is supported by $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funding. The goal? To expand diagnostic testing capacity for COVID-19 in the United States to about 6 million tests per day by December.”

The NIH blog post is a summary of a New England Journal of Medicine Article co-authored by Dr. Collins.