Fitbit aims to wield its fitness-focused supply chain to start building its own COVID-19 ventilator and plans to submit its designs to the FDA in the near future, CEO James Park told CNBC in an interview.The company’s device would include more features than the typical emergency alternatives developed in response to the spreading coronavirus pandemic, which are largely made to be built quickly and at scale using off-the-shelf components and mechanically deliver puffs of air at a fixed rate.
By comparison, the more sophisticated ventilators typically used in hospitals and intensive care units can add heat and humidity to the air while varying the amount of pressure delivered in ways that keep the lungs more fully inflated following exhalation.After collaborating on a prototype with physicians at Oregon Health & Science University, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Park said Fitbit’s device would be somewhat more advanced but still come in at a lower price point compared to the premium, durable ventilators designed for long-term hospital use.
Trial Finds Positive Results for Microbiome Treatment
Rebiotix and Ferring Pharmaceuticals recently announced positive preliminary findings from their ongoing pivotal Phase 3 trial of the investigational microbiome therapy treatment, RBX2660. The positive trial findings are vital to advance RBX2660 in its clinical development program, which evaluates the safety and efficacy of a standardized, non-antibiotic microbiome-based therapy.
RBX2660 is being developed to decrease C.diff infection recurrences. This is an unmet need for patients and healthcare providers worldwide. The current standard of care is antibiotics, which have been shown to disrupt the microbiome and increase the risk of C.diff recurrence.
Apple Awards $10M to Give Hospitals COVID-19 Testing Kits
Apple recently announced it awarded $10 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to COPAN Diagnostics to accelerate its supply of COVID-19 supply kits for hospitals across the US.The fund will allow COPAN Diagnostics to expand production from several thousand a day to more than one million supply kits by early July. Apple stated that it will support COPAN Diagnostics’ expansion to a larger facility with advanced tools, which is expected to create more than 50 new jobs. “We feel a deep sense of responsibility to do everything we can to help medical workers, patients, and communities support the global response to COVID-19,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in the announcement.
“COPAN is one of the world’s most innovative manufacturers of sample collection kits for COVID-19 testing, and we’re thrilled to partner with them so they can expand as we work to address this critical issue for our nation. I couldn’t be prouder of our teams for bringing all of their energy, passion, and innovative spirit to supporting the country’s COVID-19 response.”