SOURCE: Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

November 04, 2016 12:48 ET

Protecting our troops from disease: FDA approves early detection and diagnosis device

FORT BELVOIR, VA--(Marketwired - November 04, 2016) - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the FilmArray® Respiratory Panel EZ detection and diagnosis device for use in non-laboratory environments. Co-funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Joint Science and Technology Office and BioFire Diagnostics, this new device rapidly detects and diagnoses illnesses that threaten our warfighters and prevent the spread of disease.

Managed by DTRA's Dr. Nathan Adams, this milestone marks the first time a highly multiplexed molecular diagnostic test was granted the FDA's Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-waiver. The CLIA waiver allows testing of the device by everyday users, such as doctor's offices and clinics. This provides the Department of Defense and health workers with real-time force protection capabilities to detect and diagnose diseases that cause public health concerns such as influenza, the common cold or whooping cough.

The FilmArray® RP EZ diagnostic test requires only minutes for medical personnel to administer and can detect 14 viral and bacterial pathogens associated with respiratory infections within an hour. To date, approximately 3,000 FilmArray RP EZ® units are in service globally.

"The FilmArray® RP EZ device is an important part of a suite of detection and diagnosis tools currently under development for the protection of our troops. The sure-fire device allows for quicker medical care for deployed warfighters, especially those on ships or in areas without access to more definitive care," said Dr. Ronald Hann, director for DTRA's Joint Science and Technology Office.

DTRA is the U.S. Department of Defense's official Combat Support Agency for countering weapons of mass destruction, addressing the entire spectrum of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive threats. The U.S. Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (SCC-WMD) synchronizes Combating WMD efforts across our military's geographic commands and leverages the people, programs and interagency relationships of DTRA at a strategic level. The Standing Joint Force Headquarters for Elimination (SJFHQ-E) provides a command and control element for a Geographic Combatant Commander or Joint Task Force responsible for the elimination of WMD in hostile or uncertain conditions. The SJFHQ-E is a military unit commanded by the SCC-WMD Deputy Director. We work with the military services, other elements of the United States government, and countries across the planet on nonproliferation, counter-proliferation, consequence management and WMD reduction issues with one goal in mind: Making the World Safer.

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