The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) collaborated with industry to develop diagnostic tests for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).Molecular diagnostics company Cepheid Inc. of Sunnyvale, California, created a rapid molecular diagnostic test to detect COVID-19, and was issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on March 20, allowing for its immediate use. The test is designed for use on the company’s GeneXpert family of diagnostic systems. GeneXpert systems are deployed across numerous DOD medical treatment facilities, and are widely used in hospitals and health care facilities worldwide. The test’s development was funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the working relationship was facilitated by the JPEO-CBRND using an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement. BARDA seeks to protect our nation from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, as well as from pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases like coronavirus.The JPEO-CBRND also partnered with BioFire Defense, LLC of Salt Lake City, Utah to develop a COVID-19 diagnostic test, which received an EUA from the FDA on March 23. The test is used with BioFire’s FilmArray and FilmArray Torch systems. The BioFire FilmArray 2.0G is the diagnostic system fielded by the JPEO-CBRND’s Next Generation Diagnostics System 1 (NGDS 1) program to the Joint Force, with the commercial 2.0L version already present in many of the DOD’s medical treatment facilities. This effort was supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, using Defense Health Program funds. Both technologies provide a rapid point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic capability for the Force and the civilian population.Subscribe to Army AL&T News – the premier online news source for the Army Acquisition Workforce.
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