Novel coronavirus detected, monitored in wastewater

Within weeks of arriving on the world stage, SARS-CoV-2 has managed to encircle the globe, leaving illness, mortality and economic devastation in its vast wake. One of the central challenges facing health authorities and the medical community has been testing for the elusive virus on a sufficiently comprehensive scale.

A new approach to monitoring the novel coronavirus, (as well as other dangerous pathogens and chemical agents), is being developed and refined. Known as wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE), the method mines sewage samples for vital clues about human health. It can potentially identify levels of coronavirus infection at both a local and global scale.Continue reading

Quest Diagnostics Begins to Perform COVID-19 Antibody Testing

SECAUCUS, N.J., April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, today announced that it has begun to perform antibody testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) using blood samples. With the new service, Quest Diagnostics now provides healthcare providers in the United States access to COVID-19 antibody as well as molecular diagnostic laboratory testing.  Continue reading

C-Path Awarded FDA Contract to Enhance the Assessment of Clinical Outcomes in Pediatric Asthma Treatment Trials

Resulting novel drug development tools will support patient-focused drug development for children with asthma



TUCSON, Ariz., April 21, 2020 — The Critical Path Institute (C-Path) announced today it has been awarded a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) contract in support of ongoing development of novel clinical outcome assessments for pediatric asthma. C-Path’s Patient-Reported Outcome (PRO) Consortium will carry out this work through its Pediatric Asthma Working Group. Specifically, these assessments are intended to facilitate innovative patient-focused drug development and aid regulatory decision making by filling an unmet measurement gap.Continue reading

GenoSensor Granted FDA Emergency Use Authorization for High Throughput COVID-19 RT-PCR Diagnostic for Use in U.S.


  • FDA Emergency Use Authorization for the GSTM COVID-19 RT-PCR KIT was issued on April 16, 2020. View FDA Letter:
  • With a high sensitivity detection (single copy detection) when run according to its instructions for use in a qualified clinical lab, the GSTM COVID-19 RT-PCR test, is one of the most sensitive tests currently available under an FDA Emergency Use Authorization.
  • GSTM COVID-19 RT-PCR KIT runs on the Applied Biosystems™ 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR Instrument. Kits are available for the 96 well plate (22 clinical samples) and 384 well plate (94 clinical samples) and provides test results in less than 90 minutes.
  • The GSTM COVID-19 RT-PCR KIT is intended for use by trained clinical laboratory personnel specifically instructed and trained in the techniques of real-time PCR and in vitro diagnostic procedures. Instructions for use, the FDA EUA letter, and other documentation is provided at

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UArizona Launches Two-Way Texting System to Gather and Provide Critical COVID-19 Health Data

TUCSON, Ariz. – Designed to address a critical lack of local data as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, a University of Arizona team of researchers from UArizona Health Sciences and the Data Science Institute is launching a two-way texting system to gather and provide valuable information to track the COVID-19 pandemic in Arizona and identify areas where more resources may be needed.


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Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19

The Department of Homeland Security the CISA guidelines on essential critical infrastructure. The guideline has been updated from:

 “Workers conducting research critical to COVID-19 response” to  “Workers, including lab personnel who perform critical biomedical research, development, and testing, needed for COVID-19 response or other diseases”.

Learn more at:

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The decision support system is available free to medical professionals around the world.  

TUCSON, Ariz., April 20, 2020 — The Arizona Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (AZCERT), a nonprofit dedicated to the safe use of medicines, is making MedSafety Scan®, a web-based decision support system, available free to medical professionals around the world, especially those treating high risk COVID-19 patients. MedSafety Scan can warn healthcare providers when their patients are prescribed drugs that place them at high risk of developing a potentially lethal cardiac arrhythmia known as torsades de pointes (TdP). MedSafety Scan also checks for potentially dangerous drug-interactions and suggests options for how to monitor the patient and reduce their risk of harm.Continue reading

House Members Ask CMS to Expand Home Infusion Services

On April 13, 2020, U.S. Representatives Eliot L. Engel (NY-16) and Fred Upton (MI-06), top Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee, led a bipartisan group of 181 House Members, including Arizona Representatives Andy Biggs, Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva, and Tom O’Halleran,  in urging the Trump Administration to temporarily allow seniors to receive lifesaving drug infusions in their homes to prevent unnecessary trips to hospitals, which could potentially expose them to COVID-19.
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