CDC launches national viral genomics consortium to better map SARS-CoV-2 transmission

Rapid release of open coronavirus sequence data will help guide COVID-19 public health response, drive innovation and discovery, and advance understanding of this and future pandemics.

The SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SPHERES) consortium, which will greatly expand the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) of the COVID-19 virus.  Consortium members include Northern Arizona University, TGen, and the State of Ariona.

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Gilead Sciences Chairman & CEO Shares Open Letter on Remdesivir Data

On April 29, 2020, Daniel O’Day, Chairman & CEO, Gilead Sciences shared an Open Letter following the official press release containing data on Remdesivir and COVID-19.      

“The results from the global, placebo-controlled trial run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) are positive. They show that patients with COVID-19 who received remdesivir recovered faster than similar patients who received placebo” O’Day writes.  “There is still more work to do and remdesivir has not been approved, but all of us at Gilead are humbled by what these promising results might mean for patients. After years of research and hard work on remdesivir, there is relief and gratitude among our teams today that their efforts have been so worthwhile.”

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Governor Ducey Provides Updated Guidance For Arizonans, Businesses

PHOENIX⁠ — Governor Doug Ducey today announced an extension of physical distancing measures while laying out a step-by-step approach to continue reenergizing Arizona’s economy. The Governor today issued an Executive Order extending Arizona’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected Order until May 15, 2020. 

The order also continues Arizona’s gradual economic reopening, allowing retail businesses to begin partial operations starting next week. Under the order, retail businesses currently not operating can begin curbside pick-up on Monday, May 4, followed by expanded in-person operations on Friday, May 8 as long as they implement social distancing and sanitation measures established by the United States Department of Labor or the Arizona Department of Health Services.Continue reading

NIH launches the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Initiative.

  • NIH mobilizes national innovation initiative for COVID-19 diagnostics
  • Initiative aims to speed delivery of accurate, easy-to-use, scalable tests to all Americans.
  • With a $1.5 billion investment from federal stimulus funding, the newly launched Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative will infuse funding into early innovative technologies to speed development of rapid and widely accessible COVID-19 testing
  • NIH is urging all scientists and inventors with a rapid testing technology to compete in a national COVID-19 testing challenge for a share of up to $500 million over all phases of development.

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