Contagion Conference to Address COVID-19 and Testing Breakthroughs

The Contagion Conference on Testing will look at the critical issues and challenges posed by COVID-19 and will present technologies and approaches that can enable society to open and avert the need for lockdowns.

The December 10th Conference will present the latest research on how testing can control the spread of COVID-19. It will present the current commercial status of promising technologies. The event will kick off the formation of the Testing Consortium, a non-profit industry group committed to collaboration to accelerate progress.

A look at the commercial progress of COVID Testing technologies to help fully reopen schools and business and avoid lockdowns. 

Presenting firms will include those which received NIH Funding as part of the RADx “Shark Tank” competition which has awarded $437 million in contracts to the 24 companies with the most promising technologies. These companies went through an intensive due diligence process and were selected based on their potential for near term impact on addressing the COVID testing challenge. Other presenting technologies were identified by the Virus Project researchers and advisors.

“The idea RADx was to find breakthrough solutions that can scale. The idea of this conference is to help breakthrough companies succeed through partnerships and collaboration. Success with testing can bring back normalcy to society and avoid the lockdowns that have shattered the lives of millions” said Brett Johnson, Director of the Virus Project and CEO of Altru Institute which formed the Virus Project as a platform for collaboration and to address Pandemics.

“Testing is central to controlling the spread that is threatening the world. Bringing together the smartest scientists and most talented entrepreneurs is fundamental to addressing this crisis. Collaboration is essential,”

The half day virtual event will be anchored by panels discussions on the core issues for testing to facilitate the reopening of schools and businesses.” said Edward Borrelli, Contagion Conference Director. Topics will include:

  • Market StructureHow is the testing industry organized? What are the barriers to accelerated adoption of new technologies and increased partnerships between organizations with complimentary skills?
  • Regulation. Are regulatory requirements slowing progress on testing and thwarting life-saving innovations? Are changes to the regulatory regime appropriate. If so, what are they?
  • Screening, Surveillance, Diagnostics Tests. What is the differentiation? What are performance requirements and expectations?
  • Viral Load. Infection vs. Contagion At what level does contagion occur? Can this be measured? What is the distinction? Is everyone who is infected contagious?
  • Contact Tracing. The role of quarantining and contact tracing. How should tests integrate with these? What is the current status of such programs and the challenges of success?

The event will also include an update on new therapies that show promise to quickly treat those who test positive thus eliminating the need to hospitalize.

This is the first conference of The Virus Project which was created to provide a connecting platform for the brightest ideas and most capable individuals interested in collaboration to find solutions.  It is an initiative of the Altru Institute, a New York based think tank focused on addressing complex challenges through collaboration.

Future Contagion Conferences will focus on therapies, vaccines and containment and will aggregate accurate and trusted content on each area.

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