- The FDA announced approval of Genetrack Biolab’s COVID-19 molecular test today. Genetrack is the first and only Canadian lab to attain this coveted authorization.
- The Genetrack test is expected to be available for order soon at www.vo-test.com
- The test involves a simple and painless, self-collection from the nose. This is different from nasopharyngeal swabs collected at provincial facilities, where a swab is inserted far into the sinus. The sample is collected at home and mailed in for testing. Test results are available within one business day of sample receipt.
Vancouver, Canada – Genetrack today became the first and only Canadian laboratory to obtain U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 Home Collection molecular test. This test allows anyone to place an order for a collection kit online at www.vo-test.com, or purchase a kit from a participating pharmacy. A painless swab of the nose is taken at home and sent to Genetrack’s state-of-the-art lab for testing.
Project lead, biomedical researcher Dr. Sara Pautasso, explains: “The VO’ test requires only a simple nasal swab of the front part of the nose, which is mailed in to the lab, where we perform an ‘rRT-PCR’ molecular assay- the most sensitive method for COVID-19 detection available.”
Dr. Pautasso points out that “widespread testing is the only proven approach, short of a vaccine, that can effectively control COVID-19. However, the barrier to testing is very high, with multi-hour queues at drive-throughs that are inaccessible to individuals who take transit. By enabling home collection, we have made molecular testing accessible to everyone. Home collection is also safer than visiting collection sites, where technicians come into contact with multiple COVID-19 infected people every day, increasing the risk of cross-infection.” Dr. Pautasso expresses her hope that the government will adopt the test as soon as possible, emphasizing that “We do not have to learn to live with this dangerous virus; it is absolutely possible to overcome it.”
Although many younger people do not suffer from severe symptoms from COVID-19, viral particles have been found in heart muscle from autopsy specimens, and there is speculation that the virus may be associated with neurological disorders including Parkinson’s Disease. With active infections at an all-time high throughout Canada and with children back at school, such potential concerns have become increasingly significant.
The VO’ COVID-19 test is expected to be available for $140 online or $120 at pharmacies and can potentially be offered at no cost if adopted by provincial healthcare plans. Individuals wishing to see this at-home collection test covered in their province are encouraged to write to their MLAs.
Genetrack was founded in 1998 and operates Canada’s largest commercial genetic testing facility by volume. Genetrack is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (ISO 17025), and by CLIA for complex genetic testing. The mission of Genetrack is to enable anyone to use the latest biomedical technologies to improve their health and wellness. In an effort to achieve this goal, Genetrack recently announced the VO’ brand of personal, direct-to-consumer testing kits.