Burlington, N.C.-based LabCorp’s new, high-throughput method uses heat and technology to extract RNA from samples collected for COVID-19 molecular testing in an effort to improve the speed and efficiency of RT-PCR tests for the virus, according to a news release.
The method is designed to trap viral particles to eliminate the need for RNA extraction reagents to capture and concentrate viral nucleic acid, improving efficiency and decreasing reliance on testing supplies.
LabCorp also announced that it is the first commercial laboratory to receive EUA for the use of matrixed pooling on samples collected outside a healthcare setting via its Pixel by LabCorp and LabCorp at-home COVID-19 test collection kits, marking an extension of the EUA issued on July 24 that allows for testing larger groups of samples at once.
The company said it has already performed over 15 million molecular test since it made its COVID-19 test available in March. It is now able to process 200,000 tests per day and intends to increase its capacity further.
“Innovation and scientific advancements will ultimately resolve this public health crisis,” LabCorp diagnostics chief scienctific officer Marcia Eisenberg said in the release. “We are constantly evaluating new technologies and methods to improve the testing process, and we are excited to pioneer and introduce RNA-extraction free methodology in our laboratories, and to the diagnostic community at large.”