FDA Authorization of COVID-19 Test Marks a New Era in Healthcare Delivery — at Home
Nov 18, 2020|
The FDA’s emergency authorization of the coronavirus test made by Lucira Health for both clinical and at-home use is both momentous and sobering. We’re incredibly excited that one of our portfolio companies has succeeded in providing the world with a promising new tool to slow the spread of this plague that has taken such a […]
The FDA’s emergency authorization of the coronavirus test made by Lucira Health for both clinical and at-home use is both momentous and sobering. We’re incredibly excited that one of our portfolio companies has succeeded in providing the world with a promising new tool to slow the spread of this plague that has taken such a serious toll on society.
Rapid, widespread testing is a key part of the broad set of solutions that innovators across the globe are developing. We’ll need vaccines, more robust and widespread contact tracing, as well as continued discipline and adherence to public-safety guidelines at the individual level.
The federal authorization is an important milestone in the ongoing fight against the pandemic. This is the FDA’s first emergency-use authorization for a rapid test that is intended to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that — as the New York Times reports — “can run from start to finish at home, paving a potential path for more widespread testing outside of health care settings.”
That’s exactly why this accomplishment is so pivotal: This is a big step forward in helping people obtain care in the safest, most convenient place — their home.
Traction for at-home diagnostics was sluggish for many years. This was largely due to decades-long public conditioning, which associated healthcare delivery with the doctor’s office. The prevailing narrative has been that at-home tests can’t possibly be as accurate as lab-based tests. Lucira is showing us that, now, they can be.
When we first partnered with Lucira five years ago, the company was starting work on a flu test kit. As part of our original investment thesis, the Eclipse team considered the precedence for diagnostic testing done at home. Diabetes patients have routinely tested themselves for decades. That’s why we believed that a migration of healthcare to the “edge” was just a matter of time.
Fortunately, the science and the team behind Lucira’s innovation are rock solid. The technology has the capability to address a wide variety of infections, those both currently known and unknown. Expect the Lucira team, led by President and CEO Erik Engelson, to build on this accomplishment and bring additional innovations for at-home testing to the market over the coming years.
Beyond that, we expect more healthcare services to migrate into the home. Just as the current crisis has brought our offices and schools into our living rooms, we now see that breakthroughs that expand medicine delivery beyond the hospital can put high-quality care right in the palm of our hands.
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