On August 23, 2021, BARDA's Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe) opened a new area of interest (AOI) under the EZ Broad Agency Announcement (EZ-BAA) solicitation to expand the capabilities of existing next-generation sequencing diagnostics to agnostically detect any pathogenic respiratory RNA virus including new, emerging and existing viruses.

Next-generation sequencing diagnostics have been established for oncology and some genetic disorders, and such technology also is needed for infectious diseases due to growing health security challenges and threats. In a viral outbreak or pandemic, having agnostic tests – especially those which can detect any respiratory RNA virus and can be implemented rapidly without the need for additional regulatory approvals – is crucial.