A new wave of companies are bringing COVID-19 tests home—but is it worth the added cost? Yahoo Finance tests out Intrivo's On/Go rapid at-home COVID-19 test with Reeve Benaron, founder and co-CEO of Intrivo.
- We want to stick with COVID, because the key here to getting the pandemic under control is to get more testing available. And we have a company called in Intrivo announcing today a new at-home rapid test that delivers results in just 10 minutes. I have the test here. Adam Shapiro just took the test, so he's going to give us the results here in just a minute.
But we want to bring in the founder and co-CEO of Intrivo. We have Reeve Benaron. And Reeve, congratulations. A huge and exciting day for your company. Talk to us about the test and why this could potentially be a game changer here when we talk about getting the pandemic under control and making people feel more and more comfortable in social situations.
REEVE BENARON: Yeah, first of all, thank you for having me on Seana. I think that, you know, we all know that vaccines are safe and effective and a huge part of the solution, but we also know that testing works too. And, and it's not just one tool, but there is a toolkit. And I think it's an important part of the overall toolkit to allow us to avoid the costly shutdowns that we've experienced, frankly, the last 18 months or so.
And, and I think it's part of avoiding that to get our kids back to school, to get our businesses open and stay open, for people to enjoy each other's companies at restaurants. I think testing does need to become an integral part of society in the way that we operate.
ADAM SHAPIRO: At the end of our discussion, I will share the results. I'm looking at the thing I'm not supposed to move for at least 10 minutes and we have two more minutes to go. Real-world story, my sister-in-law, at 5:30 PM the night before I'm to fly to a family event, says go get a COVID test. At 5:30 PM! I raced to the CVS, I buy the last over-the-counter test that they sell, I got lucky. It was negative.
Your test is more expensive-- or has the price come down? It was about $10 more. How do you compete against the others?
REEVE BENARON: Well, you know, it's not just the test, Adam. It's-- there's-- there's a technology platform and a step-by-step process on how to guide through the test. And it's an AI-driven platform. And I think in order to-- solve the pandemic, which is a mission that we went on about 19 or 20 months ago when-- when people thought that COVID was just a little cold, I went out and went on this journey.
And we're fortunate to have just gotten our third FDA authorization that we're proud of, but it's more than that. And what we've built is an AI-powered platform that seamlessly integrates with our On/Go rapid tests. And it offers a real-time solution, as I said, to avoid costly shutdowns through rapid targeted interventions that enable peace of mind, such as predictive modeling for the management of infectious diseases.
You know, I've been saying, let's talk about what happens beyond COVID. And, uh, you know, there could be other infectious diseases that-- that could create the same problem. So I think that things like predictive modeling and utilizing the best of biology with the best of technology to create something that's really going to help us avoid costly shutdowns and get our society operating without-- without this disruption, is going to be key moving forward.
- And Reeve, I know your test is manufactured here in the US. What are your plans to ramp up production over the coming months?
REEVE BENARON: We're-- That's-- that's-- we're constantly looking to ramp up production. You know, we're proud that we just actually entered into an agreement with the Department of Defense to provide testing to underserved communities, 25,000 different locations, for people that either can't afford testing, the elderly. And so we're-- we're constantly looking to vamp up our production, which-- which we plan to deliver tens of millions of tests per month. It's something that's very, very important to us and we're very proud of what we've been able to do in a short period of time.
ADAM SHAPIRO: And now, the results. Just want to let everyone know, I did the mixture thing. I, you know, did my Studio 54 impersonation with the swab up the nose, put it in there, shook it all up, and put it in your device. Which-- I don't know, can you see the line there? I'm going to-- it's-- it's too bright. You see? You see, it's just a little--
REEVE BENARON: I think you're--
ADAM SHAPIRO: Negative.
REEVE BENARON: I think you're OK, Adam. I think you've got a peace of mind.
ADAM SHAPIRO: There's a party here on Thursday, by the way. So this is a good sign. I will not be saying hi to strangers on the street so that the people coming here Thursday can have fun, but thank you. And by the way, there's another test in here. Now that it's open-- but that other test remains good up until the expiration on the box because I haven't opened those packages, right?
REEVE BENARON: That's correct, yes.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Good, because I have another sister-in-law who's insisting we all test before Thanksgiving. Thank you, Reeve.
ADAM SHAPIRO: Well, they're available on on walmart.com, they're available on amazon.com, and they're available and letsongo.com website. So they're available to be picked up and we're happy to, uh-- to serve the communities in the United States. So thank you for having me on, Adam and Seana.