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February 4, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – New Covid-19 tests approved in US and Europe – Meridian wins grant to expand SARS-CoV-2 test production

By Chris Lo

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorisation to a new Covid-19 antibody test developed by Vibrant Sciences. The test, which was evaluated by scientists at the University of Denver and clinicians from the Resilience Code clinic in Denver, can predict if a patient will suffer mild or severe symptoms of the virus.

BD, a multinational medical technology company, has launched a new, approved Covid-19 blood test in Europe. The test will help hospitals identify whether infected patients will need intensive care along and ventilation, and therefore are at a higher risk of death. The diagnostic test analyses a patient’s immune system based on the levels of particular white blood cells.

CellDrop Biosciences, a University of Wyoming (UW) spinout, has received a $354,000 grant from the UW Wyoming Health and Bioscience Innovation Hub’s COVID Innovations Fund. The grant will advance the development of a sensitive and rapid antigen test for Covid-19 that can deliver results in less than three minutes. The collaboration is led by the Oakey biomedical engineering laboratory at UW and involves CellDrop Biosciences, Metrohm Raman, and the lab of Hadley Sikes, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology associate professor of chemical engineering.

Meridian Bioscience, an Ohio-headquartered diagnostic testing solutions provider, has announced that it has received a $5.5m award from the National Institute of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADxSM) initiative and an additional grant from JobsOhio, to increase the production capacity of its SARS-CoV-2 molecular diagnostic test on the Revogene platform. The funding will help expand the production of the test kits at the company’s Quebec City facility, as well as support the building of a production facility in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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