A CE-IVD marked dry blood spot-based COVID-19 serology test has been released by PerkinElmer. "Dried blood spot samples have been used in large scale population screening programs for decades and can help alleviate the costs and logistical constraints associated with collecting, transporting and processing venous blood for SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing," said Masoud Toloue, PerkinElmer VP and general manager of diagnostics.
The NeuCovix, a COVID-19 point-of-care antibody blood test that can deliver results within 10 minutes, has been debuted by AXIM Biotechnologies. The company seeks to obtain emergency use authorization for the test from the FDA.
The Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, India has launched its Corosure Kit, a low-cost COVID-19 diagnostic kit. "Unlike other kits, it does not use fluorescent probe and that helps in reducing the cost and increase the scalability of assays," said Vivekanandan Perumal, the lead researcher.
COVID-19 hospitalizations climbed to 113.6 per 100,000 people for the week ending July 11 following two prior weeks of increases, while the percentage of positive laboratory specimens dropped slightly nationwide but rose in four of 10 HHS surveillance regions, according to the CDC's COVIDView report. The percentage of US deaths attributed to flu, pneumonia or COVID-19 dropped for the 12th consecutive week to 6.4%, compared with 8.1% a week earlier, while emergency and outpatient visits for COVID-19 symptoms rose in seven regions but remained below baseline nationwide.
Data from studies of COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development by Moderna, Oxford University and partner AstraZeneca, CanSino Biologics, and BioNTech and collaborator Pfizer have all shown early indications they could induce immunity. Some of the findings are preliminary, and all the vaccine candidates need far more testing, but "it's encouraging that all these vaccines seem to induce antibodies in people," said former WHO Assistant Director-General Marie-Paule Kieny of France's Inserm research institute.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said more than 138,600 people had volunteered to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials as of Monday, just one week after the NIH rolled out a clinical trial network for testing vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. Though more volunteers are needed, initial sign-ups will help meet a goal of at least 30,000 participants each for Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Inovio's late-stage clinical studies, scheduled to start by early fall.
Republican senators are expected to propose a pandemic relief package this week that includes protections for hospitals from lawsuits and possibly more funding for COVID-19 testing. The legislation likely won't include any provisions to address unexpected out-of-network bills, despite a push from the Trump administration and some members of Congress, but it could include a payroll tax cut and measures linking school funding to classroom reopening.
The European Medicines Agency released new guidance on pharmaceutical water quality, replacing its nearly 20-year-old guidance and position statement on the subject. The updated document, which will take effect in February, outlines minimum acceptable water quality for different applications including production of sterile and nonsterile medicinal products, active substances and water used for equipment cleaning and container/closures for therapeutic products.