The FDA reported a new streamlined pathway for diagnostic testing as part of a serial testing program using pooled samples, a pathway that should enable the further reopening of the economy. However, the FDA’s Tim Stenzel said April 21 that this new pathway relied on accumulated data for molecular testing, and that the agency lacks sufficient data to provide a similar mechanism for this use of antigen tests.
The FDA has its hands full with the impact of the mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but test developers can count on an ever-increasing base of data for those viruses thanks to a new contract taken by the CDC. The CDC indicated recently that its sequencing efforts and that of other organizations churned out nearly 14,000 sequences for the week of April 3, but Aegis Sciences Corp., of Nashville, Tenn., announced April 7 that it had undertaken an agreement to perform next-generation sequencing of samples from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, ensuring plenty of access to up-to-date information on those mutations.
The latest global regulatory news, changes and updates affecting medical devices and technologies, including: FDA updates recognized standards list; Advisory hearing scheduled for Transmedics’ OCS; GAO said ‘no’ to Spartan Medical appeal; CDC posts updates on SARS sequencing.
The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee needed two days of hearings to get through a spending measure that provided the FDA with $500 million for its part in the government response. The CDC would receive $7.5 billion for vaccine distribution and tracking, all developments that ran parallel to an announcement that another 200 million doses of vaccine will be delivered by the end of July at a cost of $3.7 billion.
As of the end of January, SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrably infected more than 100 million individuals globally. It has killed more than 2 million. And the long-term sequelae of COVID infections – to say nothing of the health consequences of grief, social isolation and widespread economic distress – are still unfolding and will be for years to come.
Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have developed a method to diagnose any known pathogen from any body fluid within a day – or, depending on the sequencing method, within a few hours. For an unknown pathogen, the method spits out its nearest known relative.
HONG KONG – South Korea’s AI-based biotech venture, Kaipharm Co. Ltd. has secured ₩5 billion (US$4.22 million) in series A funding. Founded in 2018, the firm has attracted a total of ₩7 billion in investments. Kaipharm will generate a reference dataset of 2,000 drugs (KMAP_2K) using next-generation sequencing (NGS). The dataset will include all the FDA-approved drugs to date.
Nanthealth Inc. has received U.S. FDA clearance for a whole exome sequencing test to determine overall tumor mutational burden (TMB) in cancer tissue. Known as Omics Core, the first-of-its-kind in vitro diagnostic test is available now as part of Nanthealth's GPS Cancer molecular profiling suite.