The HHS Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has awarded nine contracts to research and develop more effective tests and devices to determine levels of radiation that a person absorbs after a nuclear or radiological incident. The contracts total $35 million for the initial phase and up to $400 million over five years.
In the first year of the contract, the contractors will test the accuracy of the biomarkers as an indicator for the level of absorbed radiation. In addition, they will determine if their proposed devices measure these biomarkers effectively.
After completing the studies, the contractors will develop prototypes of portable devices to be used in the field by responders to test for radiation absorption. Knowing a more precise measure of radiation exposure will help healthcare responders determine the most appropriate treatment for patients exposed to damaging ionizing radiation.
The contractors will use the FDA Investigational Device Exemption process that allows the investigational device to be used in a clinical study to collect safety and effectiveness data that is required to support a pre-market approval application or a pre-market notification submission. If the products are approved by FDA, then the products may become eligible for consideration and procurement by the federal government.
The nine contracts went to Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, Chromologic LLC in Pasadena, California, Duke University in Durham North Carolina, Meso Scale Diagnostics LLC in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Northrop Grumman electronic systems in Linthicum, Maryland, SRI International in Menlo Park, California, Stanford University, Stanford, California, the University of Rochester, Rochester New York, and Visca LLC in Troy, Michigan.