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NIH Uses Urgent Award Vehicle for the First Time to Address Coronavirus Outbreak

As the Coronavirus continues to spread new measures are necessary to develop both early detection technologies and vaccines. The pandemic has caused the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)  to initiate the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Urgent Award vehicle for the first time. NIH originally created the funding vehicle in 2018 to offer an open grant available that allowed for refinement in states on pandemics or emergencies. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) recently made proposals for grants to include requests for data analytics support because of its necessity in relation to the Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV.

NAID has recently broadened its catch-all research agency plan, 2020 omnibus broad agency announcement (BAA), to now include and direct focus towards the 2019-nCoV. Previously, the BAA focused on research groups 3 and 4, but now have directed focus to the newly created group 5. Group 5’s focuses primarily on the advancement of vaccines for rapid novel pandemics and become more prepared for them. NAID has designated $2 million dollars to the development of prototypes in  Group 5. Immediate rejection for access to Group 5 funding includes development of diagnostic that does not include improvement of existing diagnostic, research and discovery on new host-based diagnostic testing, etc.

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