Rutgers researchers develop test for coronavirus to expand access in NJ
Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) Infinite Biologics launched a test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and aims to test tens of thousands of samples daily using its infrastructure, according to a press release.
COVID-19 is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The test at RUCDR is based on a laboratory technique that can make millions of copies of the SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in a sample, according to the release.
“We can accept hundreds to thousands of samples for analysis per day now and potentially will be able to test tens of thousands of samples daily in the next several weeks,” said Andrew I. Brooks, chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR Infinite Biologics and professor in the Department of Genetics, according to a press release.
RUCDR submitted an emergency use authorization request for a new collection method using saliva, according to the release. Medical providers testing patients with a nasal or throat swab have to wait three days to get the results. Saliva testing would mean medical providers would not have to take the sample in order to run a test, according to the release.
RUCDR’s saliva-testing method aims to increase New Jersey’s testing capacity and facilitate a broader population screening. People who receive positive test results will be able to self-quarantine and limit the spread of COVID-19, according to the release. Additionally, healthcare workers and other first responders who have the virus will be able to find out sooner whether they have recovered and can safely return to work.
The distribution of the test is the result of a partnership between RUCDR and Accurate Diagnostic Labs (ADL), according to the release. ADL’s clinical client base and RUCDR expedited the new testing methods, including saliva, to expand access to testing.
The test is currently available through RWJBarnabas Health, including Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and University Hospital in Newark. Several county health departments also have access to the new test, according to the release.
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