Los Angeles-based XPrize Foundation, a nonprofit focused on competitive problem solving in science and technology, has awarded a total of $6 million to five groups for developing affordable Covid-19 rapid tests.
Out of the winners, three of them are based in San Diego. ChromaCode and Reliable-LFC, both of Carlsbad, joined the La Jolla Institute for Immunology as local winners in the challenge. The other two winners include New York-based Mirimus and Alameda-based Alveo Technologies.
The fastest test from the winning groups was Reliable LFC's antigen test, called V-CHEK, which takes 10 minutes to determine if someone is positive for Covid-19, It is currently awaiting emergency use authorization from the FDA.
"We started this journey to ensure communities across the globe have access to fast, affordable, and easy-to-use Covid-19 tests," XPrize Chief Executive Anousheh Ansari said in a statement. "We are grateful to have the best entrepreneurial and scientific teams on board to help bring their solutions to scale so we can properly reopen schools, businesses, and other vital institutions around the world."
Each winner is guaranteed $500,000. They will receive an additional $500,000 over the next few months if they hit milestones for mass-producing their COVID-19 tests.
"We're honored to be recognized by the XPRIZE committee after several rounds of review and testing. It's not often one's technology platform is put through such a rigorous, independent side-by-side analysis versus competitors. Our unique platform, powered by a combination of chemistry and cloud analytics, performed extraordinarily well and demonstrated our ability to scale and deploy accurate, rapid, and affordable COVID-19 testing," said Greg Gosch, ChromaCode's Co-founder, President and CEO.