Coronavirus company news summary – Maine CDC investigates outbreak at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

18 September 2020 (Last Updated September 21st, 2020 07:52)

18 September

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded a Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) to Diomics for its Covid-19 skin patch. Under the $2.125m agreement, the company will focus on speeding up the development of testing of its SARS-CoV-2 Visual Immune Response Indicator skin patch. The device is designed to enable a person to start monitoring an immune response within 24 to 36 hours of application and quickly know exposure to the virus and take necessary precautions and preventive measures to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) director Dr Nirav Shah has announced that an investigation has been launched into the Covid-19 outbreak at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard located in York county. Around 18 workers at the shipyard have been tested positive for the virus. The CDC believes that the outbreak could be related to several factors associated with community transmission. While the union representing the workers is said to have called for closure of the shipyard, the CDC is working with the shipyard authorities on the inquiry.

Scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) have published their findings in the peer-reviewed scientific journal ACS Nano on a joint effort to develop nanoparticle probes to study SARS-CoV-2. NRL Optical Nanomaterials Section acting head Mason Wolak said: "The ultimate goals of the collaboration are to clarify the fundamental mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 causes infection and to screen and identify potential drugs to inhibit these mechanisms."