The U.S. is Still Struggling to Keep Up with Pandemic Testing

At the moment, the global number of pandemic cases is up to 95.9 million, with 2.05 million unfortunate deaths. In the U.S., the number of cases is up to 24.2 million. In India, it’s up to 10.5 million. In Brazil, it’s 8.5 million. In Russia, it’s now up to 3.5 million.

Unfortunately, with the pandemic only expected to “get worse,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, there’s a greater need for testing.

Making matters worse, according to Reuters, demand for testing devices could outstrip supply for a long time, as noted by Roche Chief Executive Severin Schwan.  Additionally, according to CNBC, labs nationwide appear to be struggling to get their hands on sufficient supply. The network further added that “the surge in demand is yet again stressing the supply chain.”

In New York City, publicly run testing sites are running short of rapid tests, which could pose a significant problem, as noted by the New York Daily News.

In short, there’s an urgent need for reliable testing

That’s where a company like Relay Medical Corp. (CSE: RELA)(OTC: RYMDF) comes into play.

In fact, it and Fio Corporation - together Fionet Rapid Response Group – just announced the launch of its high-throughput COVID-19 rapid testing solution, using its Fionet technology, to administer on-site COVID-19 rapid testing and real-time tracking in high-volume settings like airports, sports & entertainment events, workplaces and schools.

Fionet’s high-throughput COVID-19 testing & tracking solution is a complete toolkit enabling rapid testing in high-volume settings using antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). The high-throughput toolkit acts as a “mobile testing lab”, enabling efficient onsite processing of RDTs, data capture and reporting in a variety of community-settings.

A single modular processing setup, with optimized workflows, requires two Fionet mobile testing devices, 2 personnel, and tabletop accessories to process up to 100 rapid antigen tests per hour. The flexibility of Fionet allows output to easily be scaled to handle over 1,000 tests per hour with additional devices and personnel, making it a solution for nearly any type of RDT testing program. In addition, the solution is designed to turn around test results in as little as 20 minutes, for minimal wait times and disruptions to travel journeys.

“We are extremely excited to launch our Fionet high-throughput rapid testing solution to help support the growing demand for rapid testing in high-volume settings like airports, workplaces and schools. Our solution is designed to be scalable and affordable, both of which are critical to enable a dramatic scale up COVID-19 testing & tracking.” said Dr Michael Greenberg, CEO of Fionet Rapid Response Group and CEO of Fio Corporation.

With this solution, FRR is well positioned to capitalize on the growing opportunity for rapid COVID-19 testing solutions in industries that have been crippled by restrictions due to the pandemic. There is growing pressure to ramp up rapid testing capacity at places like airports, cruise ships, arenas, workplaces, and schools. This has become increasingly important with multiple reports of a new, faster spreading COVID-19 variant making its ways around the world.

“Widespread rapid testing combined with real-time data tracking can be a powerful tool to proactively screen individuals and help prevent transmission so communities can begin to reopen with confidence and ultimately save both lives and livelihoods. There is a growing body of research that has demonstrated how rapid testing can be very useful, even in demanding settings like airports. ” said Yoav Raiter, CEO, Relay Medical Corp.

Recently, Canada’s top two airlines, Air Canada and Westjet have announced plans to further reduce capacity and headcount, on top of major cuts made last year. Air Canada is cutting an additional 1,700 jobs and will now be operating at just 20% capacity compared to Q1 2019.

This is on a backdrop of growing research demonstrating the feasibility of using rapid antigen tests in airports and other high-volume settings to screen travelers for COVID-19. Just this week, positive interim results were published from a Westjet-Vancouver International Airport COVID-19 rapid testing study, reporting that “results indicate that a rapid antigen testing approach is feasible for use in departing air travelers”, “participant feedback was resoundingly positive” and “the research team found that the test itself only takes around 15 to 20 minutes.

In addition, the CDC recently issued an order starting Jan 26, 2021, all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to present the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. Both NAAT or antigen tests will be accepted.

Other related developments from around the markets include:

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE:LH), a leading global life sciences company, announced that Dr. Deborah Ann Sesok-Pizzini has been appointed Chief Medical Officer of Labcorp Diagnostics, following the retirement of Dr. Dot Adcock in April 2021. Dr. Sesok-Pizzini assumed the role starting on January 11, 2021.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) is announcing the fulfillment of the federal government's order of 150 million BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag tests. These rapid tests were distributed through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to states, territories and targeted entities, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health and hospice agencies, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and the Indian Health Service. Abbott is also in the final stages of completing its self-funded investment in U.S. manufacturing capacity and is now ready to make tens of millions of BinaxNOW tests available per month for direct purchase to organizations including schools, workplaces and pharmacies.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services, announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide genomic sequencing to identify new mutations in, and patterns of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Financial terms of the agreement are not disclosed.  The goal of the collaboration is to aid the CDC in conducting a large-scale longitudinal genomic survey of the SARS-CoV-2 virus using a random set of samples collected from Quest's labs across the United States. The company will perform the sequencing from its advanced diagnostics laboratory in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

Chembio Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ:CEMI), a leading point-of-care diagnostic company focused on infectious diseases, announced the CE mark for the DPP SARS-CoV-2 Antigen and IgM/IgG test systems, providing regulatory approval to register and market both test systems in the European Union and other geographies that accept the CE mark. The Company also announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Luas Diagnostics, which will commence system sales immediately while serving as the exclusive commercial partner for all of Chembio’s products in the United Kingdom and Ireland. “Having the CE mark for both COVID-19 test systems is indicative of the strong performance and reliability of the DPP system. These tests can assist clinicians across Europe with the diagnosis and management of patients and understanding virus exposure levels in their communities through testing in a variety of point-of-care settings,” stated Richard Eberly, Chembio’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Partnering with Luas Diagnostics expands our global commercial footprint in the important markets of the United Kingdom and Ireland. We are very excited to offer our entire portfolio of products through this highly respected and connected organization.”

Legal Disclaimer / Except for the historical information presented herein, matters discussed in this article contains forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Winning Media is not registered with any financial or securities regulatory authority and does not provide nor claims to provide investment advice or recommendations to readers of this release. For making specific investment decisions, readers should seek their own advice. Winning Media is only compensated for its services in the form of cash-based compensation. Pursuant to an agreement Winning Media has been paid three thousand five hundred dollars for advertising and marketing services for Relay Medical Corp. by a third party. We own ZERO shares ofRelay Medical Corp. Please click here for full disclaimer.

Contact Information:
[email protected]