At BARDA We Seek Innovation in Science…. and in the way we do business! BARDA has a long history of driving innovative programs, to accelerate innovative ideas and deliver promising countermeasures to protect Americans.
At BARDA, we focus not only on great science but also on driving a culture of Innovation, which starts with each project we invest in, with each novel program we launch and in the way we do business with all of our industry partners. Not only does BARDA invest in innovative projects, including promising technologies or platforms across our portfolio; we also launch novel innovation programs and are designed to accelerate and foster smaller innovative projects. Our goal at BARDA is to build innovation into every project and program we invest in.
Innovative projects often promote technologies that have shown promise for filling a particular countermeasure need, but have not been widely adopted in research, development, and manufacturing practice and thus will benefit from further BARDA support and evaluation. These projects often have a broad array of potential uses as countermeasures and technologies rather than responding to a single threat. Check out Innovation Spotlight that highlights just a few of the promising innovative products and technologies in which we are investing.
While individual innovation awards can make a difference in driving promising products and technologies, in certain situations, we recognize that there are more complex barriers and a coordinated investment is necessary. In these situations, BARDA designs, builds, implements, and sustains novel innovation programs to address complex multi-factor challenges. BARDA accomplishes this by establishing hyper-focused programs designed to address the innovation gap and build any infrastructure needed to facilitate innovation. Learn more about BARDA’s (5) five Innovation Programs, led by our program divisions across BARDA.
HHS’s first venture capital partnership to develop transformative technologies to combat future pandemics, other health emergencies. This new novel partnership is leveraging venture capital practices to transform health security.
What if the next time you sought medical care for a cough or stuffy nose, a hand-held device could tell you within minutes if you’re suffering from a bacterial or viral infection? BARDA is working with RizLab Health, Inc., to develop the CytoTracker, a portable diagnostic device that uses a microchip to draw in a finger-prick of blood and provide a differential white blood cell count (WBC) in less than two minutes. The results are then analyzed by a machine learning algorithm that can determine if the infection is viral or bacterial. This diagnostic tool could put actionable health information in patient’s hands and help inform the most appropriate treatment course, reducing the chance of unnecessarily prescribing antibiotics. See how BARDA and RizLab are partnering to develop rapid, intelligent, multi-use diagnostics that can be deployed across a variety of settings.
Regular COVID-19 testing helps keep you and communities safe – but getting to a testing site can be a complex process, and valuable time is lost while waiting for results. BARDA continues to support OraSure Technologies in developing a self-administered COVID-19 rapid antigen test (branded InteliSwab) that provides accurate results in approximately 30 minutes without requiring a full diagnostic laboratory. This painless, three-step process utilizes an innovative integrated swab that anyone can use. BARDA supported development of the OraSure InteliSwab test from inception through FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in June 2021 for over-the-counter (InteliSwab COVID-19 Rapid Test), prescription home use (InteliSwab COVID-19 Rapid Test Rx), and professional point-of-care use (InteliSwab COVID-19 Rapid Test Pro), and will continue to partner on obtaining 510(k) FDA clearance. Explore how BARDA and OraSure have partnered to support the safe reopening of schools, workplaces, and gathering places through fast and accurate self-testing.
For decades, scientists imagined developing vaccines to stop deadly pathogens within weeks or months instead of years. Messenger RNA (mRNA) platform technology makes that vision reality. Shortly after the publication of the SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequence in January 2020, researchers at Moderna and NIH used this BARDA-supported technology to begin collaborating on the development of mRNA-1273, a vaccine targeting the "spike" protein of the virus. Clinical trials began in March 2020, and in November, Moderna announced its vaccine had an efficacy of 94% against symptomatic infection and was found to have a clinically-acceptable safety and tolerability profile. Since the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization in December 2020, more than 64 million people in the U.S. and millions of others around the world have received mRNA-1273. See how BARDA and Moderna have been working together on development programs with the goal of accelerating the availability of vaccines during public health emergencies.
Chemical threat agents cannot be tested in human trials, and non-clinical studies are slow, costly, and have limited utility. But what if there was a simpler way to evaluate potential therapeutics that involves human tissue exposure and also reduces the need for non-clinical testing? Researchers could instead utilize 3D biophysical platforms, also called “organs-on-a-chip”, to model the structure and function of vital human tissues and organs (such as the lungs) to safely and quickly test a drug’s effectiveness in treating chemical agent exposure. A current BARDA partnership with the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) could help bring organ-chips to the forefront of human trials-based MCM development. Read on to find out how BARDA is leveraging this novel technology to study toxic chemical exposures and quickly identify treatments for chemical injuries.
What if a sensor worn on your wrist could continuously monitor pertinent host response biomarkers in your sweat and detect changes due to an infection? A current BARDA partnership with EnLiSense has made it possible to measure inflammatory cytokines in sweat using their non-invasive Sweatsenser Dx device. Learn more about how BARDA and EnLiSense are working together to make a wearable device that offers real-time continuous reporting and delivers vital health information to individuals and health care providers to help them make informed healthcare decisions.
The COVID pandemic has highlighted the limitations of respirator supply chains and the inappropriate reuse of masks not intended for multiple uses. Reusable respirators exist, but they are not designed for healthcare workers. BARDA is working with Applied Research Associates (ARA) to develop a reusable respirator that can be disinfected and used by healthcare workers for up to thousands of wear cycles. Explore how BARDA and ARA are partnering to equip health care workers with effective, reusable respirators while solving respirator supply shortages.
How can platform technology help to tackle disease outbreaks? By utilizing high-throughput antibody identification, development, and manufacturing platforms like Regeneron’s, researchers can rapidly generate effective therapeutics against emerging pathogens. See how BARDA and Regeneron have been collaborating to rapidly develop life-saving treatments that counteract emerging pathogens since 2015.
Visualize engineering a targeted antibiotic that can overcome drug-resistant infections. BARDA is working with Locus Biosciences to combat antibiotic-resistant E. coli with bacteriophages, harnessing natural predators of bacteria to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). An estimated 150 million UTIs occur each year worldwide – the majority of which occur in women – highlighting the severity of this issue to women’s health. Explore how BARDA’s investment in Locus’s bacteriophage therapeutic will address the need for innovative treatments for drug-resistant infections that can complicate a public health emergency.
What if we could identify COVID-19 hot spots using technology that’s accessible to anyone? BARDA is working with 98point6 and its primary care telemedicine platform to develop a program that records de-identified, suspected COVID-19 cases, and uses this information to better understand disease transmission, potential hot spots, incidence of COVID-19 cases among different population groups, and self-reported vaccination status. Find out how BARDA supports 98point6 to provide near real-time data analysis about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visualize a diagnostic laboratory, small enough to hold in the palm of your hand. BARDA is working with Cue Health to make that possible, with their Monitoring System for COVID-19: a portable, rapid molecular test that provides the power of lab-quality testing at point-of-care. Cue’s COVID-19 test is administered by healthcare professionals and delivers results to a smartphone in about 20 minutes. Find out how BARDA is supporting Cue Health to simplify the COVID-19 testing process and enable a rapid domestic response to health emergencies.
Imagine your next vaccination: What if your annual flu shot could be mailed to your house, where you could self-administer it without using needles or needing refrigeration? A current BARDA partnership with Vaxxas could make that a reality. Explore how BARDA continues to invest in the development of the Vaxxas needle-free patch vaccine administration technology for influenza immunizations.
A donor-independent, on-demand emergency source of platelets is needed to serve as a medical countermeasure (MCM) for mass casualty incidents. See how BARDA is investing in Platelet Biogenesis’s advanced manufacturing platform to develop synthetic platelet-like cells.
Patients suffering from COVID-19 have widely variable prognoses. Some are mildly affected, while others experience severe outcomes, hospitalizations, sepsis, and death, making triage critical.
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BARDA Ventures expands the range of investment tools that BARDA has available to advance novel medical countermeasure development. BARDA DRIVe Director Sandeep Patel tells how BARDA Ventures will help critical public health emergency preparedness and response technologies find a path to commercialization and invite matching investments from the private investment community.
Revolutionize the way we prevent, detect, and respond to major 21st century health security threats. DRIVe brings together the best ideas from the medical and scientific communities, together with government and venture capital investment, to drive innovation that will strengthen our nation’s health security through a few key impact areas: