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Monday, 6 April 2020

A deep dive into covid-19 testing in the US

A deep dive into covid-19 testing in the US (with some surprising glimmers of good news): Health experts and business leaders have been working to meet growing demands for covid-19 testing, and preparing to run innovative trials using existing medications in the hope of alleviating some of its worst effects, according to this Goldman Sachs podcast (listen, runtime: 1:21:49). Interviews with leaders including the CEOs of Quest Diagnostics and Roche Diagnostics and the president of Massachusetts General Hospital highlight mass partnerships taking place across the US between private sector companies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), hospitals and other stakeholders to increase lab capacity for testing — widely acknowledged to be key in flattening the curve of covid-19 cases. Quest Diagnostics alone increased capacity from 0 to 20k tests per day between 1 and 20 March.

Could a pioneering approach to treating Ebola be adapted to protect people from covid-19 by the summer? It would involve manufacturing the antibodies that would normally be produced after a vaccine and administering them directly to patients, and could produce a 90% survival rate if given early, estimate the leaders of some pharma companies.

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