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News / Business / Clark County Business

Vancouver lab preps COVID-19 at-home test kits

Molecular Testing Labs says they could be ready in two weeks

By Anthony Macuk, Columbian business reporter
Published: March 19, 2020, 6:30am

Vancouver-based company Molecular Testing Labs is developing an at-home, self-collected test kit for COVID-19 to make testing more accessible.

In a press release last week, the company said it hoped to provide testing to health departments, hospitals, commercial partners, providers and patients in the coming weeks.

No price was determined as of Wednesday, and the kits could be ready in two weeks.

Molecular Labs, at 14401 S.E. First St., is a commercial lab that offers a wide range of testing services including toxicology, genomics, infectious diseases and women’s health. The new COVID-19 test kit it’s developing is in partnership with Nurx, an online health care company that prescribes medications and home tests such as birth control, STI testing and HPV screening.

A press release from Nurx describes the envisioned services as a “telehealth consultation and home testing service” for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, with the goal of allowing patients to do the test remotely to reduce the risk of spreading the virus through brick-and-mortar health care facilities.

The home test would consist of a nasal swab that would be shipped overnight back to the lab for evaluation, with results delivered in 24 to 48 hours, the company said.

On Wednesday, Molecular Testing Labs client services manager Josette Marquand said the company is still moving its COVID-19 test through the validation process, but she expects to receive validation in the next two weeks.

Marquand said Molecular also expects the federal government to provide updated guidance to laboratory companies about how and where to deploy new tests, and the company is waiting for that information before finalizing its deployment plan.

“Everything is still really up in the air,” Marquand said.

Columbian business reporter