4 recent US deals to boost COVID-19 testing

The U.S. government has announced a number of deals and investments in the last month to boost domestic COVID-19 test manufacturing and increase the country's supply of rapid, at-home tests to combat the pandemic. 

Four moves the government has announced since the end of September: 

  1. The National Institutes of Health is investing $70 million to bring more at-home COVID-19 tests to market. The NIH's Independent Test Assessment Program plans to establish an accelerated pathway for the FDA to find test manufacturers that can make their tests at a significant scale. 

  1. HHS has invested more than half a billion dollars to boost manufacturing of supplies needed to increase domestic COVID-19 testing. The agency awarded more than $562 million to a dozen U.S. companies to support domestic manufacturing of supplies such as pipette tips, protective packaging, swabs and reagents used in COVID-19 testing.

  2. The White House said it plans to quadruple the supply of rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests in the U.S. by December. The FDA's authorization of a rapid test made by San Diego-based Acon Laboratories is expected to double rapid at-home testing capacity. The White House also announced an additional $1 billion investment in rapid testing, building on a previously announced $2 billion investment.

  3. The U.S. Defense Department and HHS awarded four contracts totaling $647 million to test manufacturers for a total of 60 million over-the-counter test kits.


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