March 26, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time OAKLAND, Calif. & BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As more and more schools work to support in-person learning environments, communities across the country have turned to COVID-19 testing programs to monitor the virus. Even as teachers and guardians become eligible for and receive effective and safe vaccines, clinical vaccine trials for individuals under 16 are just beginning, and efforts to track and mitigate viral spread remain critical.
Dascena Labs, which is supporting the urgent needs of the country by offering free COVID-19 testing to patients nationwide, has partnered with Concentric by Ginkgo to provide a scalable, effective and simple testing modality – pooled testing – to serve these communities.
Concentric by Ginkgo is Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc.’s (“Ginkgo”) biosecurity and public health effort and a national testing provider for K-12 schools. Concentric by Ginkgo currently serves hundreds of communities in over a dozen states. Concentric’s goal is to provide easy, affordable pooled testing to every school in America. Pooled classroom testing, which combines swabs from all consenting individuals in a classroom and runs them as a single test, is an effective way to significantly increase testing capacity and lower the cost of testing programs.
“We are very excited to partner with Ginkgo on this highly important initiative as our country continues to work to recover from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” said James Wingrove, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Dascena, Inc., who oversees Dascena Labs. “Enabling the safe return of children and teachers back to in-person learning is a crucial step in that recovery. By providing accessible and accurate testing to teachers and students, we hope, that together with Ginkgo, we can help to provide safe learning environments.”
Dascena Labs was launched by Dascena, Inc., a company developing machine learning algorithms to enable early disease intervention and improve care outcomes for patients, in late 2020 in response to addressing the COVID-19 health crisis. Dascena Labs provides COVID-19 PCR testing to individuals through its COVID-19 sample collection sites across the US, as well as algorithm-driven COVID-19 population management and molecular testing solutions to enterprises, communities and healthcare providers. Dascena Labs operates seven days per week and has scaled capacity to process a growing number of PCR samples. Since its inception, the lab has processed over 720,000 samples, supporting communities across the US.
“We are proud to offer testing that can contribute to the confidence and data-driven decision making of communities working to return to in-person learning,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo. “Testing should be available to every student, every week, in every school that needs it – and we’re confident that the significant funding for school testing announced by the Biden administration last week will support communities during this vital phase of pandemic response.”
To learn more about Concentric by Ginkgo or to get your school district involved, head over to concentricbyginkgo.com.
About Dascena Labs
Dascena Labs was launched by Dascena, Inc., in late 2020 to address the COVID-19 health crisis. Dascena Labs provides COVID-19 PCR testing to individuals through its COVID-19 sample collection sites across the US, as well as algorithm-driven COVID-19 management and molecular testing solutions to enterprises, communities and healthcare providers. Dascena Labs has been funded and accelerated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative. The lab is currently accepting most samples from across the US, offering competitive pricing and a turn-around time of 24-48 hours upon sample receipt. For more information or to find a test site, visit mycovidtest.me.
About Dascena, Inc.
Dascena is developing machine learning algorithms to enable early disease intervention and improve care outcomes for patients. For more information, visit dascena.com. Follow us on LinkedIn.
Headquartered in Boston, Ginkgo uses the most advanced technology on the planet—biology—to grow better products. The company’s cell programming platform is enabling the growth of biotechnology across diverse markets, from food to fragrance to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo is also actively supporting a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including community testing, epidemiological tracing, vaccine development and therapeutics discovery. For more information, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com.