Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA Secures New Grant from The Rockefeller Foundation for COVID-19 Diagnostics Evidence Accelerator

The Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA has received funding from The Rockefeller Foundation to support the COVID-19 Diagnostics Evidence Accelerator launched earlier this year in collaboration with Friends of Cancer Research. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations.

“The Rockefeller Foundation is supporting critical work in our nation’s response to COVID-19,” said Ellen V. Sigal, PhD, Chair of both the Reagan-Udall Foundation and Friends of Cancer Research. “We are deeply appreciative of their investment, which will further our ability to bring top researchers together to better understand diagnostic test performance to inform public health strategies and improve patient outcomes.”

The Diagnostics Evidence Accelerator helps answer urgent questions by leveraging real-world clinical data from health insurance claims, laboratory information systems, electronic health records, and public health reporting data. The Rockefeller Foundation funding will support development of a prototype for linking currently disparate information from these different data sources to evaluate serology testing across multiple, large-scale populations.

“Our goal is to describe real-world performance of diagnostic tests,” stated Susan C. Winckler, RPh, Esq., CEO of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA. “We need to better connect and leverage real-world data to accelerate our understanding in this space – especially as the nation gears up for a potential increase in COVID-19 cases during fall and winter months.”

Created at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Diagnostics Evidence Accelerator builds on the framework and methodologies already in place for the COVID-19 Therapeutics Evidence Accelerator. Contributing researchers engage in meetings to present and critically discuss findings from different data sources as well as work closely with the conveners to develop key research questions that multiple teams can address simultaneously. Initial activities include (1) rapidly finalizing a list of core data elements; (2) identifying those critical to answering the primary questions; and (3) establishing uniform collection parameters and study design.

Summaries from the COVID-19 Diagnostics Evidence Accelerator meetings are posted at