The RADx Tech initiative aims to speed the development, validation, and commercialization of innovative point-of-care and home-based tests, as well as improve clinical laboratory tests, that can directly detect the virus. RADx Tech has expanded the Point-of-Care Technologies Research Network(link is external) (POCTRN) established several years ago by NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). The network is using a flexible, rapid process to infuse funding and enhance technology designs at key stages of development, with expertise from technology innovators, clinical testing, regulatory affairs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.
Scientists and inventors with a rapid testing technology compete in a national “shark tank”-type COVID-19 testing challenge for a share of up to $500 million over all phases of development. The technologies go through a highly competitive, rapid three-phase selection process to identify the best candidates for at-home or point-of-care tests for COVID-19. Finalists are then matched with technical, business, and manufacturing experts to increase the odds of success.
If certain selected technologies are already relatively far along in development, they can be advanced immediately to the appropriate step in the commercialization process.