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NIH Launches Rapid Acceleration Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative

May 8, 2020

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative, aimed at speeding innovation, development and commercialization of COVID-19 testing technologies. The initiative, which some have dubbed the “Shark Tank” of diagnostics, is supported by $1.5 billion in federal stimulus funds, and includes a call for innovative technologies in which scientists and inventors will compete in a national COVDI-19 testing challenge for a share of up to $500 million over all phases of development. Point-of-care testing is a particular focus. The NIH also has established a robust public-private project called the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership to develop a collaborative framework for prioritizing vaccine and drug candidates, and streamlining clinical trials. 

Yesterday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, held a hearing titled, “Shark Tank: New Tests for COVID-19“. Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the NIH, testified and discussed the new RADx program. Gary Disbrow, PhD, acting director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, also testified. NIH will be working closely with BARDA in implementing the RADx project.

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

RADx Solicitation

RADx Press Release


ACTIV Press Release