July 31, 2020
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS), today welcomed the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) announcement that it has awarded contracts to seven biomedical diagnostic companies through the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative. Blunt and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) worked together to develop and secure funding for the shark tank-style RADx initiative in the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act that was signed into law in April.
“Today’s announcement is a huge milestone for the RADx initiative,” said Blunt. “To get people fully back to work and back to school, we’re going to need millions of tests that are easily administered, widely-available, accurate, and provide rapid results. Senator Alexander and I came up with the idea for the RADx initiative as a way to get the best new testing technologies developed, approved, and deployed faster than ever before. I’m incredibly encouraged by the overwhelming response from researchers and developers and the speed at which we’ve been able to get to this point. I’ll continue working with my colleagues to be sure we have the resources in place to dramatically scale up testing capacity, get Americans back to daily life and, most importantly, keep people safe.”
Earlier this month, Blunt held a Labor/HHS hearing with NIH Director Francis Collins, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Acting Director Gary Disbrow to receive an update on the RADx initiative and Operation Warp Speed, the HHS-led vaccine development initiative.
According to NIH, RADx has garnered more than 650 applications to date. More information on the program and the contracts awarded today is available here.