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NEW YORK – Vela Diagnostics announced Monday it has been awarded a contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support development of a COVID-19 assay.

The $225,000 contract will support verification and clinical validation of the firm's probe-based reverse transcription PCR test, called ViroKey SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR. Support from BARDA is expected to accelerate the progress toward submission of an Emergency Use Authorization application, the firm noted in a statement.

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The US Food and Drug Administration is to announce stricter standards for emergency authorizations of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, reports the Washington Post.

The Associated Press reports Johnson & Johnson is starting a late-stage clinical trial of its candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Bloomberg reports the budget of Operation Warp Speed is actually $18 billion, higher than the number typically cited.

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This webinar, Part 3 of the “Advances in RNA-based Biomarker Development for Precision Oncology” webinar series sponsored by GeneCentric Therapeutics, will discuss novel and emerging applications of RNA-based genomic analysis in precision oncology, form characterizing the tumor microenvironment to informing the development of immuno-oncology treatments.