St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M Co. has issued a statement after the White House formally invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to require the company to prioritize orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for its N95 respirators. “We have been working closely with the Administration to do exactly that, and we appreciate the authorities in the DPA that provide a framework for us to expand even further the work we are doing in response to the global pandemic crisis. We look forward to working with FEMA to implement yesterday’s order,” the company said. It noted that the White House had asked that it stop exporting respirators manufactured in the U.S. to Canada and Latin America; however, doing so would have humanitarian implications. "In addition, ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done.” With that said, the company pledged to continue to maximize the number of respirators it can product to help U.S. health care workers.

Aperiomics, of Sterling, Va., said that it expects to more than double its COVID-19 PCR testing capacity thanks to support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus, located in Ashburn, Va.

Beroni Group, which has a presence in Australia, China, Japan and the U.S., said it has been added to the list of commercial manufacturers and laboratories that have notified the U.S. FDA that they have validated serology tests as set forth in Section IV.D of the FDA’s Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease – 2019.

Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna Corp. and St. Louis-based Express Scripts are working with Boston-based Buoy Health Inc. to provide an early intervention screening tool to help customers and members understand their personal risks for COVID-19. The digital tool triages symptoms and recommends next steps for care, while also relieving demand on the health care system. The Symptom Checker tool incorporates guidance from the CDC to help categorize people's risk level as low, medium or high and makes the appropriate recommendations. Express Scripts clients can begin offering the tool directly to its members no cost at www.express-scripts.com/buoy. Cigna customers in the U.S. enrolled the company's employer-sponsored plans, globally mobile plans, Medicare, Medicaid and Individual & Family plans (IFP) can also access the free tool by visiting www.Cigna.com and www.myCigna.com.

Newport News, Va.-based Dilon Technologies Inc., has acquired substantially all the assets of Dune Medical, including Alpharetta, Ga.-based Dune Medical Devices’ Marginrobe U.S. FDA-approved device for identifying positive margins during breast conservation surgery.

Electrocore Inc., of Basking Ridge, N.J., submitted an emergency use authorization (EUA) application to the U.S. FDA to facilitate the study and clinical use of its Gammacore Sapphire noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation therapy, or nVNS, for respiratory symptoms associated with COVID-19. The EUA includes data from early clinical and nonclinical work that examined the use of the company’s VNS, including noninvasive therapy, in several pilot studies that involved patients with a variety of respiratory disorders.

Cambridge, U.K.-based Horizon Discovery Group plc has added an arrayed CRISPR knockout screening service for primary human B cells to its cell-based screening services.

Minneapolis-based Life Epigenetics, Insurtech Holdings and Yousurance have rebranded to Foxo Bioscience. The company will focus on step-change innovation in the longevity industry, including a consumer engagement platform to improve health and wellness, as well as advancements in the field of epigenetics.

Mardill Medical Inc., of Minneapolis, reported the successful completion of the third patient in a clinical trial of its improved Ventouch device, a combination therapy for patients suffering from type IIIb functional mitral valve regurgitation.

Nexstim plc, of Helsinki, reported that it can no longer provide full-year 2020 guidance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but said its full-year operating loss is expected to be lower than 2019.

Novocure Ltd., of St. Helier, Jersey, reported that it is continuing to enroll and treat patients in six ongoing clinical trials, but acknowledged that COVID-19 related challenges are causing delays in enrollment. The company also noted that clinical trial site expansion has been delayed as sites devote their resources to COVID-19.

Orlando-based Obviohealth Inc. has launched a virtual registry to monitor COVID-19 prevalence, symptoms and immune response over the next 12 months. The study will deploy a mobile app and digital platform to 10,000 Americans to map their journeys during the pandemic, tracking each participant over a period of six months.

Pancella Inc., of Toronto, has granted an exclusive license to Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. of its proprietary cell technology addressing long-term allogenic cell tolerance without the need for immunosuppression. As part of the agreement, the companies will collaborate to test and enhance the use of Pancella’s immune-cloaking technology, Stealth Cells.

Salt Lake City-based Predictive Technology Group reported a distribution agreement between its Predictive Laboratories subsidiary and Wellgistics LLC, of Lakeland, Fla., for the U.S. distribution of its Assurance AB COVID-19 IgM/IgG rapid antibody test.

San Francisco-based Pinterest Inc. is partnering with doctors and researchers at leading academic institutions, including Harvard University and Weill Cornell Medicine, to launch the How We Feel (HWF) project, an app that prompts people to share how they are feeling, their age and zip code, with the aim of tracking and fighting the spread of COVID-19. Daily “check-ins” take about 30 seconds, and people who are not feeling well can share their symptoms and health conditions. The HWF app is available for download in the U.S. on iOS and Android and on the web at www.howwefeel.org.

Stimguard LLC, of Boca Raton, Fla., has rebranded under the name Micron Medical Corp. and appointed Stephen Deitsch as its CEO.

The scientific community now has free access to a COVID-19 research portal that launched April 3. Cambridge, Mass.-based Vivli, an independent, nonprofit data-sharing and analytics platform for clinical trial research, with the help of Tempe, Ariz.-based Insight Enterprises Inc., an integrator of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions for organizations of all sizes, has developed the COVID-19 data sharing portal. To date, there are hundreds of trials being planned or ongoing. As results from those studies become available and researchers agree to share their results, Vivli will update the portal and list those trials.

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