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HHS invests $480 million in Cue Well being to spice up manufacturing of speedy coronavirus take a look at


The U.S. is investing $481 million in California-based start-up Cue Well being to spice up manufacturing of its coronavirus take a look at that produces leads to about 20 minutes and with no need to be processed at a lab, U.S. businesses introduced Tuesday.

Cue, which is backed by Johnson and Johnson amongst different traders, will improve manufacturing to 100,000 take a look at kits per day by March, in line with the Division of Well being and Human Providers. It added that the U.S. will purchase 6 million assessments and 30,000 lab devices used to course of the assessments.

“Cue’s assessments present leads to about 20 minutes with the form of accuracy offered by lab assessments that may take a number of days, including to our dramatically increasing provide of speedy assessments that may assist protected reopening,” Alex Azar, Secretary of HHS, stated in an announcement.

Cue is a molecular take a look at and it makes use of an in-house nasal swab, referred to as the Cue Pattern Wand, collected from the decrease a part of the nostril, HHS stated. That is totally different from another speedy molecular assessments that use nasopharyngeal swabs inserted deep into the nostril.

Take a look at outcomes could be delivered immediately by the Cue Well being cellular app, HHS stated.

“The Cue testing system is very delicate and particular, and almost equal to the perfect giant referral laboratory techniques,” Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of well being who leads the federal government’s testing effort, stated in an announcement. “This funding will enable Cue Well being, Inc. to increase its footprint and considerably scale up manufacturing, and by doing so allow this know-how to be deployed all through our testing ecosystem to profit all People.”

The company announced on June 12 that it acquired an emergency use authorization for the take a look at from the Meals and Drug Administration. The regulatory company approved the take a look at for use “anyplace below the supervision of certified medical personnel,” the corporate stated.

The take a look at was developed in partnership with the Biomedical Superior Analysis and Improvement Authority, which is a part of HHS. The partnership started in 2018, when BARDA awarded $14 million to Cue develop a molecular influenza take a look at with the choice to increase the settlement as much as 60 months for a complete of $30 million. Early within the pandemic, BARDA expanded its partnership with Cue to develop a take a look at for the coronavirus.

“This award exemplifies the significance of businesses like BARDA,” Giroir stated.