Combines Ginkgo’s robust Concentric by Ginkgo pooled testing program with Quest’s PCR/NAAT COVID-19 pooled specimen testing to support return to classrooms
BOSTON, May 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Ginkgo Bioworks (“Ginkgo”) today announced a collaboration with Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX) to provide COVID-19 Kindergarten through Senior (K-12) school testing services to support classroom learning nationwide. The services are based on recommendations provided by the Rockefeller Foundation in its K-12 National Testing Action Program: Connecting Schools with the Nation’s Leading Testing Companies to Safely Reopen, which provides a testing roadmap for schools and cites both Quest and Ginkgo for their COVID-19 testing expertise.
Each organization brings unique strengths to the collaboration. The nation’s leader in diagnostic information services, Quest Diagnostics, has capacity to perform 300,000 COVID-19 PCR/NAAT* tests a day through its network of approximately two dozen COVID-19 test performing laboratories for people in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia as well as Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories. Test results are typically provided within a day.** Ginkgo has developed its Concentric by Ginkgo platform to provide easy start-up and operation for any school seeking easy-to-use digital participant sign-up, secure data management, timely supplies shipments, integration of follow-up testing regimes, and fully staffed support services. Concentric currently serves roughly 1,000 schools across the United States, including statewide partnerships in Massachusetts and Maine, as well as city- and district-wide partnerships in Baltimore, Newark, and Milwaukee. Ginkgo’s integration of Quest labs into its nationwide lab network will dramatically expand its capacity, allowing Concentric by Ginkgo the opportunity to serve every single student and teacher in America through pooled testing every week.
“Testing is an absolutely critical tool for responding to this pandemic, and we believe pooled testing is the modality that makes the most sense for students and teachers working to return to in-person learning,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. “On a national level, our collaboration with Quest ensures that communities across America will have the capacity and the know-how to test every student, every week.”
“Quest has been at the forefront of COVID-19 testing from the beginning of the pandemic, providing nearly 40 million COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests since March 2020. Now, we are applying our deep experience in COVID-19 testing to help our nation’s kids and teachers get back to school more safely,” said James E. Davis, Executive Vice President, General Diagnostics, for Quest Diagnostics. “With Ginkgo’s highly intuitive interface and data management system we can provide a school testing solution that is high quality, convenient and cost efficient, anywhere in the U.S.”
Under the program, school administrators can implement a testing program that tests students, teachers and staff using pooled specimens. Pooled testing, which combines swabs from all consenting individuals in a classroom and runs them as a single test, can significantly increase testing capacity and lower the cost of testing programs. Quest provides the testing using high quality, validated molecular diagnostic PCR/NAAT laboratory tests.*
*Polymerase chain reaction is a type of Nucleic Acid Amplification Test.
**Capacity depends on access to sufficient supplies and equipment as well as positivity rates. While our average turnaround time for COVID-19 molecular diagnostic testing continues to be approximately 1-2 days, we complete and report the large majority of tests within 1 day. Turnaround time refers to the expected number of days required to collect, transport, perform testing on and report results for a specimen. Turnaround time can fluctuate with demand, supplies and other factors, and vary by region. For more information, please refer to Quest’s COVID-19 media statement issued on April 27, 2021: newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/COVIDTestingUpdates
About Ginkgo Bioworks
Concentric by Ginkgo is Ginkgo Bioworks’ public health and biosecurity effort. 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.
About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives. www.QuestDiagnostics.com.
For more information about the latest developments with our COVID-19 testing, visit: newsroom.questdiagnostics.com/COVIDTestingUpdates
SOURCE Ginkgo Bioworks