The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the biopharma industry. From artificial intelligence breakthroughs to at-home genetic testing, BioSpace reviews some of the ways COVID-19 has changed the industry and what we may see in the near future. 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the diagnostic industry to a new level of test manufacturing, and those capabilities have sparked at-home testing for a variety of other conditions and health metrics. 

COVID tests

The United States government procured more than 100 million additional COVID-19 tests from testmaker iHealth Lab Inc. as part of the White House’s plan to distribute 500 million free at-home tests across the country, the Department of Defense said Jan. 28.

The U.S. government will make 400 million non-surgical N95 masks from its strategic national stockpile available for free to the public starting next week, a White House official said, marking the Biden administration’s latest effort to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. households can order four free at-home COVID-19 tests from the website starting on Jan. 19 with shipping expected within seven to 12 days of ordering, the White House said on Jan. 14.

Insurance companies will be required to cover eight over-the-counter at-home coronavirus tests per person each month starting January 15, the Biden administration said, expanding access to highly sought-after kits as Americans grapple with a surge in coronavirus cases.

Roche said on December 24 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the company’s COVID-19 at-home rapid test that can be used by people as young as 14.

Becton Dickinson and Co. has partnered with Inc. to begin shipment of a new at-home rapid Covid-19 test that can confirm results using an entirely automated smartphone app.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the first over-the-counter Covid-19 antigen test, which can be used at home.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a new template for clinical test developers that is designed to assist these companies in developing and submitting emergency use authorization (EUA) for Covid-19 tests that can be performed at home or in other settings besides laboratories.