SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fluidigm Corporation(NASDAQ:FLDM), an innovative biotechnology tools provider with a vision to improve life through comprehensive health insight, today announced progress on the Company's Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) project.
Fluidigm has achieved the initial milestone under its letter contract with the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, under the agency's Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative. The letter contract, which established $12 million of funding available to Fluidigm prior to execution of a definitive contract, provided for initial payment to Fluidigm of approximately $11 million based on achievement of the initial test verification milestone. Fluidigm expects to receive all $12 million in funding associated with the letter contract by the end of the third quarter and is actively engaged in finalizing the definitive contract with the NIH.
The initial milestone involved an independent third-party verification of the Fluidigm® Advanta™ Dx SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Assay, which received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late August. The RADx initiative, whose letter contract with Fluidigm was announced in July, fast-tracks development and commercialization of innovative technologies to significantly increase U.S. testing capacity for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Fluidigm microfluidics technology is the basis for several COVID-19 test assays designed to be run on the Fluidigm Biomark™ HD system.
"Ubiquitous, high frequency testing is essential," said Chris Linthwaite, President and CEO of Fluidigm. "We believe there are a number of reasons that saliva-based testing will emerge as an ideal method for this type of program. Our test combinesaccuracy with a simple sample collection approach analyzed on a small, integrated fluidic circuit that runs on a high-throughput PCR platform. In addition, there are emerging needs such as return-to-work and school screening and pan-respiratory panels to differentiate between multiple pathogens.Our platform is ideal for meeting these needs without changing our workflow, instrumentation or software."
The Fluidigm RADx project is supported by the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics initiative and has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under contract no. 75N92020C00009.
Fluidigm's ongoing collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency(DARPA) and its Epigenetic CHaracterization and Observation (ECHO) program includes financial support for development of innovative programs based on our microfluidics technology.