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Tucson Tech: Accelerate partners to offer COVID-19 antibody test
Tucson Tech

Tucson Tech: Accelerate partners to offer COVID-19 antibody test

Lenny Dietsch at Accelerate Diagnostics. The Tucson company, in partnership with San Francisco-based BioCheck Inc., has added an authorized, rapid test for COVID-19 antibodies.

Another Tucson-based company has begun offering COVID-19 testing.

Accelerate Diagnostics has added an authorized, rapid test for antibodies that signal a recent infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, in partnership with San Francisco-based BioCheck Inc.

The companies announced recently that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the BioCheck SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG Combo Test and BioCheck’s fully-automated MS-Fast instrument.

Accelerate will market, commercialize and support the serology-based testing platform, which the companies say can process human serum samples in 30 minutes to detect antibodies that indicate recent or prior COVID-19 infection.

The Tucson company makes and markets its own tests and instruments for rapid detection and identification of blood-borne bacterial and fungal pathogens.

Shelley Campeau, Accelerate Diagnostics’ clinical trials manager, said the BioCheck test detects a protein with the fewest similarities to other coronaviruses, which allows for a lower probability of false positives due to cross reactivity.

In April, Tucson-based Paradigm Laboratories and Phoenix-based Prorenata Labs began offering their own molecular test for COVID-19, in partnership with Scottsdale-based biotech firm bioSyntagma.

HYPERSONIC weapons

The U.S Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency say they will be ready later this year for the first free-flight tests of two hypersonic weapon concepts developed by Raytheon Technologies and Lockheed Martin after successfully flying mounted prototypes.

The agencies said they recently concluded so-called “captive-carry” testing — in which prototypes are flown on aircraft to test their fit and aerodynamics — of the two variants of the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) and are ready to proceed to free-flight testing within the calendar year.

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon each tested advanced air vehicle configurations that promise to achieve and sustain efficient hypersonic flight, DARPA said.

Their upcoming flight tests will focus on hydrocarbon scramjet-powered propulsion and thermal management techniques to enable prolonged hypersonic cruise, in addition to affordable system designs and manufacturing approaches, the agency said.

DARPA did not address reports by the industry journal Aviation Week in June that a missile prototype detached from and was destroyed during captive-carry testing aboard a B-52 bomber.

The Air Force and DARPA generally decline to comment on technical aspects of their hypersonic programs, which remain highly classified.

TUCSON FIRMS, individuals vye FOR INNOVATION AWARDS

Several Tucson companies and individuals are finalists for the 2020 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards, which will take place during a live virtual event on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

  • Alex Rodriguez, CEO of FreeFall 5G, is a finalist for the Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year award;
  • Joann MacMaster, CEO of the Tucson-based investment group the Desert Angels, and Betsy Cantwell, University of Arizona senior vice president for research and innovation, are up for the MSS Transformational Leadership Award;
  • Codelucida Inc. and GenetiRate Inc. are finalists for Innovator of the Year, Start-Up Company;
  • Lunewave Inc. is up for Innovator of the Year, Small Company;
  • IBM’s Tucson operation is a finalist for Innovator of the Year, Large Company;
  • The UA’s Cantwell also is a finalist for Innovator of the Year–Academia along with two UA faculty members, Hong Hua, professor of optical sciences, and Ruslan Rafikov, associate professor of medicine.
  • Winners of student awards for the Future Innovators of the Year category were announced along with the finalists for the other awards. Saffeyya-Grace Ibrahim of Sonoran Science Academy was named a Future Innovators winner, while Sadie Smith of Tucson High Magnet School won honorable mention.

Contact senior reporter David Wichner at dwichner@tucson.com or 573-4181. On Twitter: @dwichner. On Facebook: Facebook.com/DailyStarBiz


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