US invests $481M in startup that supplied NBA coronavirus tests

The U.S. is investing $481 million in a startup diagnostics company to boost manufacturing of its point-of-care COVID-19 test, the same one used  by the NBA this season.

Cue Health, based in San Diego, said it will increase its production of the point-of-care test from several thousand kits per day to 100,000 per day by March. The U.S. plans to acquire 6 million tests and 30,000 lab instruments from the company. 

The molecular test produces results in about 20 minutes and uses a nasal swab that takes a sample from the lower part of the nose, as opposed to the more commonly used  nasopharyngeal swabs that take samples from deep inside the nose. Test results are delivered through a mobile app. 

The test was used successfully by the NBA in its "bubble" in Orlando, Fla.,this season, CNBC reported. 

The test was studied by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., but study results haven't been published. The FDA granted the test emergency use authorization on June 12 and allowed its  use anywhere under supervision of qualified medical personnel. 

Cue Health CEO Ayub Khattak told CNBC the company hopes to get the test authorized for at-home use.


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