Virginia Tech researchers develop new COVID-19 tests to combat backlogs, shortages
Virginia Tech scientists have developed a new COVID-19 test and secured federal and state approvals to begin processing samples at on-campus labs in Blacksburg and Roanoke.
The university will support local health departments throughout the region to provide timely analysis to identify patients suspected of having COVID-19 — a critical step in the process of slowing the pandemic in Virginia. No patient samples will be collected at either of the labs — that step is done by health departments or health systems working with health departments, including the Schiffert Student Health Center at Virginia Tech.
“Virginia Tech has received emergency permission to begin testing COVID-19 samples and we have notified local health departments that we are ready to begin receiving samples soon,” said Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and Virginia Tech’s vice president of health sciences and technology. “With expanded testing becoming crucial to controlling the pandemic, in Virginia and the nation, Virginia Tech faculty, staff and graduate students went to work to answer the challenge.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued Emergency Use Authorization on Monday for the university to proceed with testing. FDA review of the validation is pending. After review, the university will receive official notice as to whether full FDA approval is granted.
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