Is there anything Verily Life Sciences can’t do? The South San Francisco-based company has been involved in everything from diabetes management, non-surgical hearing options, to measuring irregular heartbeats.
Now the former life sciences arm of Google is addressing the COVID-19 testing constraints by establishing a CLIA- Certified Lab. (Editor’s note: Verily and Google’s parent company is Alphabet ). Verily made the announcement on its blog on Monday.
In the posting, Deb Hanks, MD, Verily’s head of Pathology spoke about the challenges labs face during the pandemic.
“Diagnostic labs are experiencing an unprecedented demand for their services, sometimes resulting in longer turnaround times from sampling to return of results,” Hanks said according to the blog post. “Highly experienced labs, adept at handling high volumes of testing, have gone from a two-to-three-day turnaround time for a molecular-based RT-PCR COVID-19 test to seven days or longer. When test results are delayed, not only do everyday decisions become harder for the person tested - for example, whether it's safe to return to work - but it becomes challenging for our public health departments to trace local outbreaks, interrupt transmission, and formulate guidance for their communities.”
Verily is using Thermo Fisher Scientific’s TaqPath test, which has a EUA from FDA. Verily said it has filed an EUA for TaqPath to be used in testing pooled patient specimens.
This isn’t the first time Verily has addressed COVID-19. In May, the company launched the Baseline COVID-19 Research Project to advance the scientific understanding of the virus. Part of the project called for Verily to develop an antibody test.
Alphabet’s Google recently teamed up with Apple to launch the Exposure Notification technology for COVID-19. The technology is a software tool kit that would notify someone if they may have come in contact with a person that was diagnosed with COVID-19.