Companies Rush to Shore Up Covid-19 Testing Ahead of Flu Season

Companies Rush to Shore Up Covid-19 Testing Ahead of Flu Season

Monday, August 31, 2020   |   Category: Media Coverage


Companies are racing to bolster Covid-19 testing as schools reopen and flu season approaches, saying they aim to avoid a repeat of July when overwhelming demand for testing led to long delays for results.

In a Boston lab where technicians have programmed yeast to produce cannabinoid molecules for medical-marijuana products, scientists are now working to develop a Covid-19 testing system that searches for the virus’s genetic code. The company, Ginkgo Bioworks Inc., hopes by the fall to create a system that will use analyzers the size of washing machines to process 100,000 tests a day.

Meanwhile, scientists at Sonora Quest Laboratories LLC are assembling new equipment that might soon deliver a 10-fold increase in molecular coronavirus-testing capacity at one of Arizona’s largest private labs. Other companies including Abbott Laboratories and public-health authorities are aiming for broader Covid-19 diagnosis and screening with large-scale production of rapid antigen tests that don’t need to be shipped to laboratories for processing.

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