REDWOOD CITY, CA — A Peninsula biotech research company has joined the coronavirus fight.
Guardant Health has received FDA Emergency Use Authorization for a next-generation sequencing-based COVID-19 test.
The move to coronavirus testing is a departure for the company, which is known for developing cancer-detecting liquid biopsy tests.
The approved method can scale to over 10,000 tests per day, with results typically returned the next day.
The company describes the Guardant-19 test as a “reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction next-generation sequencing (rt-PCR-seq) test.”
The test detects coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid from upper respiratory nasal specimens including nasopharyngeal swabs.
Guardant didn’t go into developing the COVID-19 test as an additional business, but more as a civic duty, company executives said, noting that the firm remains strongly committed cancer detection.
“While serving cancer patients remains our top priority, we are proud to be able to leverage our expertise in liquid biopsy testing to contribute to battling the COVID-19 pandemic by offering a highly accurate test that is truly additive to the testing options available today,” said AmirAli Talasaz, Guardant Health president and co-founder said in a news release.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic we believed it was our social responsibility to not only protect the health and safety of our employees but to also help our greater community with a return to work and school initiatives. It gives me great pride knowing that Guardant Health is able to deliver.”
Guardant said its COVID-19 test is going to be used to help Delaware State University, a Historically Black College and University, reopen safely.