NONPROFIT, NONPARTISAN PLATFORM OF ACCURATE SCIENCE-BASED SOLUTIONS TO COVID-19

Browsing: NEWS

1) Findings: Insights and developments globally on the subject.
2) Companies: Updates and progress reports on member companies.
3) Industry: Important developments from throughout the field.

NEW YORK | October 14, 2020 –A new report by the Duke-Margolis Center provides the first application of a detailed framework to provide guidance on how best to screen for, and stop or reduce the spread of, Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in schools. The report, Risk Assessment and Testing Considerations for Reducing SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in K-12 Schools, is the first-of-its-kind to offer a risk assessment and testing guidance that can be adapted to reflect the risk of Covid-19 in a school’s community. It also considers the benefits of transmission reduction alongside the costs of testing and of managing “false positive” results. As…

Fluidigm COVID-19 Campus Safeguard Program Improves Availability of Noninvasive, Saliva-Based SARS-CoV-2 Tests for Higher Education Institutions. SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 08,  Fluidigm Corporation (Nasdaq:FLDM), announced a program to expand availability of Fluidigm® COVID-19 tests for U.S. colleges and universities. The Fluidigm COVID-19 Campus Safeguard Program will provide millions of noninvasive, saliva-based tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to qualifying institutions at a cost as low as $5 per test. The Advanta™ Dx SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Assay on the high-throughput Fluidigm Biomark™ HD system features an integrated testing platform and a reliable supply chain and can be easily combined with commonly available…

Singapore has developed an event testing approach to make possible large events, weddings,  and conferences.  The pilot program will run from late October until December will utilize antigen rapid tests (ARTs) for the pre-event testing, which can return “fairly accurate” results within about half an hour, according to the Ministry of Health (MOH). The ART results will be valid for 24 hours from the time of the swab, and it must be valid at the point of entry until the end of the event, said MOH in a technical briefing on the matter. According to MOH officials:  “If you go…

The Washington Post has produced an exceptional work on vaccines and their progress.  It does a wonderful job describing the complexity of vaccine development using info graphics. Some of the key points. Researchers in the United States set an audacious goal in January to develop a coronavirus vaccine within 12 to 18 months. This would be a world record. The mumps vaccine is considered to be the fastest to move, in four years, from scientific concept to approval in 1967. The quest for an HIV vaccine continues, 36 years and counting. Coronavirus vaccines are moving much faster, partly because governments are taking on…

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), announced a third round of contract awards for scale-up and manufacturing of new COVID-19 testing technologies. The six new Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative contracts total $98.35 million for point-of-care and other novel test approaches that provide new modes of sample collection, processing and return of results. Innovations in these new technologies include integration with smart devices, mobile-lab processing that can be deployed to COVID-19 hot spots, and test results available within minutes. These awards are part of the RADx Tech program, focused on rapidly advancing early testing…

An insightful article on COVID-19 testing was authored by Mara G. Aspinall co-founder of the biomedical diagnostics program at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions. Published October 9th.  According to Aspinall, “PCR tests cost too much and take too long, too few will be tested and the results will arrive too late to act on them. Counterintuitively, less sensitive antigen tests are more effective at identifying those who could otherwise become super-spreaders.” Even if a less accurate antigen test misses the early hours of infectivity, it will definitely catch all cases by later that first day and on all subsequent…

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced last week that its experimental two-antibody cocktail reduced viral levels and improved symptoms in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The treatment, REGN-COV2, is also being studied for use in hospitalized patients, and for prevention of infection in people who have been exposed to COVID-19.  The FDA can authorize emergency use of a drug before completing its review for a formal approval. Analysts believe that the Regeneron cocktail could work in a hospital setting where the patient is already severely ill and has a high viral load. Trial results for the first 275 patients showed the biggest effect in…

If businesses are not open and kids not in school, we are losing the war against COVID. A war we could and should be winning.  Science and technology can defeat this invader that is destroying the global economy and taking and shattering millions of lives. But we need to unleash the power of innovation and information. Instead we are holding it back.  Winning is not complex and it is NOT just a vaccine.  To rely primarily on vaccines is simply foolish and could be a big mistake. Vaccines should be pursued full force, but there is no certainty any will be effective…

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