BARDA accepting applications for at-home COVID-19 diagnostics, technologies

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) announced a new solicitation this week for the development of rapid and affordable at-home SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics, as well as supportive technologies to further more widespread, decentralized testing for COVID-19.

In reaching out, BARDA seeks partners to create these technologies capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2 acute infection and improve access to cheap, quick testing overall. With BARDA’s Divisions of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe) and Detection, Diagnostics, and Devices Infrastructure (DDDI) driving the effort, the end goal is to reduce community transmission by allowing more people to keep on top of their infection status.

Designated as part of the new COVID-19 At Home Diagnostics program, this opportunity will work to advance simpler tests that don’t sacrifice accuracy in their pursuit of low cost. Ease of use in both sampling and testing, as well as straightforward interpretation of results, will be essential for those items sought here. BARDA’s ideal candidates are also those with existing manufacturing capabilities to utilize so they could make such tests available to the public in the over-the-counter market.

For more advanced tests, BARDA would expect U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization within six months. Otherwise, BARDA is also searching for pitches that improve at-home diagnostics in some way, be it through sensitivity, specificity, or performance.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Jan. 15, 2022.

Chris Galford

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