HHS invests $480 million in Cue Health to boost manufacturing of rapid coronavirus test

The U.S. is investing $481 million in California-based start-up Cue Health to boost manufacturing of its coronavirus test that produces outcomes in about 20 minutes and without having to be processed at a lab, U.S. businesses introduced Tuesday.

Cue, which is backed by Johnson and Johnson amongst different buyers, will improve manufacturing to 100,000 test kits per day by March, in accordance to the Department of Health and Human Services. It added that the U.S. will purchase 6 million assessments and 30,000 lab devices used to course of the assessments.

“Cue’s tests provide results in about 20 minutes with the kind of accuracy provided by lab tests that can take several days, adding to our dramatically expanding supply of rapid tests that can support safe reopening,” Alex Azar, Secretary of HHS, mentioned in a press release.

Cue is a molecular test and it makes use of an in-house nasal swab, referred to as the Cue Sample Wand, collected from the decrease half of the nostril, HHS mentioned. That’s completely different from another rapid molecular assessments that use nasopharyngeal swabs inserted deep into the nostril.

Test outcomes will be delivered immediately by means of the Cue Health cell app, HHS mentioned.

“The Cue testing system is highly sensitive and specific, and nearly equivalent to the best large referral laboratory systems,” Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of well being who leads the federal government’s testing effort, mentioned in a press release. “This investment will allow Cue Health, Inc. to expand its footprint and significantly scale up production, and by doing so enable this technology to be deployed throughout our testing ecosystem to benefit all Americans.”

The firm introduced on June 12 that it obtained an emergency use authorization for the test from the Food and Drug Administration. The regulatory company licensed the test to be used “anywhere under the supervision of qualified medical personnel,” the corporate mentioned.

The test was developed in partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is an element of HHS. The partnership started in 2018, when BARDA awarded $14 million to Cue develop a molecular influenza test with the choice to lengthen the settlement up to 60 months for a complete of $30 million. Early in the pandemic, BARDA expanded its partnership with Cue to develop a test for the coronavirus.

“This award exemplifies the importance of agencies like BARDA,” Giroir mentioned.

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