Dean's Distinguished Lecture at UIUC
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The NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative was launched on April 29, 2020, just 5 days after a Congressional directive to expand the number and type of SARS-CoV2 diagnostic technologies. Four NIH RADx programs now support technology development and delivery. This talk introduces principles of the RADx Tech “innovation funnel” designed to evaluate, validate, and scale up promising technologies for laboratory, point of care, and home settings. More than 700 applications were submitted to the funnel and reviewed on a rolling basis over a ~3-month period. As of early October, 46 projects were selected for phase 1 funding to validate and de-risk technologies; 22 projects received phase 2 contracts totaling ~$480M to support manufacturing expansion and clinical studies. Current phase 2 platforms are projected to add >2.5M tests/day by December 2020. RADx has accelerated SARS-CoV2 test development by compressing the typical multi-year tech commercialization process into 5-6 months. As technologies in the pipeline continue to be developed, RADx, combined with multiple public and private sector expansion efforts, is anticipated to contribute to the production of >6M tests/day in the U.S. by the end of 2020.