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MicroGEM Awarded Over USD 40 Million by NIH to Fast-Track Rapid, No-Lab COVID-19 Saliva Test

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 03 Sep 2020
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MicroGEM (Southampton, Hampshire, UK) has been awarded up to USD 40.9 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADxSM) initiative to expedite the launch of the company's molecular diagnostic test that provides rapid, sensitive and specific identification of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza types A and B at the point-of-need.

MicroGEM's COVID-19 saliva test provides laboratory-quality results in 15 minutes, allowing non-medical personnel to obtain rapid, on-site detection of COVID-19 without a laboratory. The system detects SARS-CoV-2 in saliva, simultaneously with influenza types A and B, using real-time reverse transcriptase RT-PCR. Based on patented enzymatic RNA extraction technology, the system is a simple approach to quickly detecting and managing infectious disease. The RADx initiative seeks to significantly increase the number, type, and availability of tests by millions per week. The technologies supported by the program are expected to make a significant contribution to expanding testing capacity in the US.

"We are pleased to be working with the NIH to accelerate the launch of this new platform to detect COVID-19," said MicroGEM CEO, Jeff Chapman. "This funding enables us to leverage the technologies currently in our pipeline, pivoting to address the urgency of this pandemic for a safe and expedient way to expand the availability of COVID-19 testing to those who need it."

"Diagnostic testing is a critical component of the nation's strategy to meet the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "Just started at the end of April, the RADx initiative has moved swiftly to speed innovation and later-stage development in the biomedical technology sector. The results thus far have been outstanding."

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