NEWS: Genomic Research Startup Pivots to Develop COVID-19 Tests. Helix Partners With San Diego County to Avoid Shortfall of Tests…

A startup with a certified lab in SD signed an agreement with SD County to provide about 2,000 COVID-19 tests per day.

And, it just got emergency use approval for those tests from the FDA.

Helix, with HQ in San Mateo, launched its end-to-end COVID-19 test system in June. This includes the test (a PCR-based test), as well as a full non-invasive collection kit and the ability to return results directly to the tested individual (as well as the ordering healthcare professional).

Results are available the next day after a sample is received in the lab, in marked contrast to other tests that can take three days to a week to get results.

Helix is equipped to take orders from healthcare professionals, provide clinical return of results to the ordering professional, and manage reporting to public health agencies.

Helix’s agreement with the county is significant because the county’s public health lab faced a sudden potential shortfall in testing capability as one of its key vendors ran low on critical supplies.

So the county signed a four-month contract with Helix to supply and process up to 2,000 coronavirus tests per day.

The county operates more than 20 testing sites throughout the region.

Helix has already delivered about 7,500 test kits for the county program, with another 10,000 expected to arrive soon.

Helix’s primary focus is genomic research; it pivoted to develop these tests during the pandemic.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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