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Eurofins to help expand COVID-19 testing in US schools and beyond

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The US Government has asked Eurofins Scientific’s contract analysis arm to further expand COVID-19 testing in schools, underserved populations, and homeless shelters.

Eurofins announced Framingham, Massachusetts-based Clinical Enterprise had been hired by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Defense (DOD) to expand the country’s assessment program.

The deal – financial terms of which were not disclosed – will see the Eurofins clinical unit test up to 24.6 million people in the Northeast and South regions.

The aim is to help identify and minimize asymptomatic transmission, curtail broader community transmission, prevent outbreaks in institutional and community settings, and protect vulnerable individuals and populations according to Government

Eurofins launched its first RT-PCR assay for SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S. on March 13, 2020. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) shortly afterwards.

The contract testing firm’s approach is to pool data from the assays. Any positive pool results prompt paint-specific diagnostic testing. Eurofins claimed the method “helps identify positive individuals in a timely manner without the need to re-test.”

The firm added that its “high ratio pooling combines low cost testing with a highly sensitive test, which is ideal for early detection in community and school settings.”

Under the contract, Eurofins will work with health services provider Affinity Empowering, which has a technology that enables the transmission of up-to-the-minute scheduling information, test results, and reports.

Expansion

Eurofins was one of 187 vendors vying for the national COVID-19 testing agreement, which was awarded on May 25. Outreach to schools and community- based organizations will begin immediately.

The contract coincided with Eurofins’ announcement it had expanded its PCR testing capabilities.

The firm said, “Through recent investments, turnaround times for NGS sequencing have been reduced to as little as 5 days and capacity increased to 35,000 viral genomes per week. Eurofins intends to further expand its SARS-CoV-2 full genome sequencing capacity as required on all continents.

Image: istock/Plyushkin

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