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US$7 million investment accelerates availability COVID-19 self-tests in low- and middle-income countries

Key takeaway: Successful applicants to manufacture 240 million low-priced tests a month.

On March 31 2021, FIND launched a request for proposals (RFP) to develop, manufacture, and launch to market COVID-19 self-tests in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). 

The RFP called for quality-assured and easy-to-use self-tests that were accurate and affordable. It was prepared in the context of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Diagnostics Pillar, co-convened by FIND and the Global Fund.

Innovators, developers and manufacturers of in vitro diagnostics, and LMIC-based diagnostic stakeholders, were invited to submit proposals.

A package of US$7 million was offered in support, funded via grants to FIND from the German Federal Ministry of Education and through KfW and other donors.

International expertiseFrom 80 applicants, contracts were signed with four companies, and their names announced in February 2022:

Each has committed to manufacturing up to 60 million tests per month, priced from US$1–2 per test.FIND will conduct independent clinical evaluations of test performance, with support dependent on meeting project milestones.

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