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October 14, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Eurofins receives grant to boost DNA production for Covid-19 testing – Covid-19 testing with pooled samples effective and cost-efficient, finds study

By Chloe Kent

The researchers at the University College London in the UK have found that the lateral flow tests (LFTs) are more precise in identifying Covid-19 patients and detecting those who can be infectious than previously thought, the BBC reports. Using a novel formula to assess LFT’s accuracy, the team found that the tests had an effectiveness of over 80% in identifying any level of infection and more than 90% effectiveness in most infectious individuals. The researchers stressed that people obtaining a positive LFT result should trust the tests and self-isolate.

The US Department of Air Force, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has granted an award of $30m to Eurofins Genomics to set up a manufacturing facility in the US. The contract will help boost the country’s production capacity for the reagents required for Covid-19 diagnostic tests. The site will manufacture GMP grade synthetic DNA called oligonucleotides (oligos) for molecular diagnostic testing. The facility will come up near Eurofins’ existing site in Louisville, Kentucky.

A study has found that testing pooled saliva samples for Covid-19 every two weeks at a residential college campus resulted in a more than 95% agreement with the gold standard for accuracy, nasopharyngeal samples tested individually. Making use of pools of ten samples, the test delivered results in under eight hours. The cost for processing an average of 665 tests weekly was $0.43 for each sample, indicating the cost-effectiveness of the method.

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