There’s a new tool to help protect people against the coronavirus after a local company announced their new test.
Industrial Genetics, a startup from the Temple Health and Bioscience District Incubator, announced Wednesday that it had developed a way to detect the coronavirus in wastewater and on surfaces.
The test — which is now available to business or municipal customers — is able to genetically determine the amount of coronavirus at a location. The cost for one test is $400.
Dr. David Sprague, founder and president of the company, said the test can be used for high-traffic areas to allow businesses and organizations to have more information on COVID-19 risks.
“The first step to winning the war against COVID-19 is to determine where the outbreaks are taking place before the effects of COVID-19 have taken hold,” Sprague said. “Our diagnostic testing is the ideal way to see if there is a problem at your organization by determining the amount of virus in your wastewater and on surfaces. By providing evidence-based understanding of (the coronavirus) and the pandemic, our customers can then proceed confidently to identifying the correct solution.”
Sprague said all of the testing would be done locally at their lab within the Bioscience district.
Clients can use the company’s proprietary testing kit to take samples of the wastewater or surfaces, shipping them back to the company. The testing done by the lab will then be able to verify the species and strain of a virus, but also can detect its strength to infect others.
Sprague said that the company, which is currently small, has a two- or three-day turnaround for clients on testing results but the speed will increase with automation when demand goes up.
Industrial Genetics is partnering with Xenex Disinfection Services, which will be helping by offering their new Trend surface testing service.
The two companies said they have already started testing some facilities and plan to continue expanding both locally and around the globe.
“We recently tested a nursing home, retirement community and a corporate headquarters,” Dr. Mark Stibich, president of Xenex, said. “Testing determined the presence of the virus, so those organizations recognized the need to improve their infection prevention strategies.”