COVID-19 News & Media
JULY 25, 2020 | SOURCE: Labcorp
LabCorp Receives Authorization for COVID-19 Sample Pooling
New Method Aims to Improve Efficiency of COVID-19 Testing, Optimize Testing Supplies and Increase Overall Capacity
BURLINGTON, N.C. — LabCorp (NYSE: LH), a leading global life sciences company that is deeply integrated in guiding patient care, today announced it received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permitting diagnostic testing of groups of individuals for active COVID-19 infections utilizing matrixed pooled testing, a method that tests several patient samples at once.
LabCorp’s unique matrixed pooled strategy for COVID-19 provides an efficient testing approach for populations by allowing for larger groups of samples to be tested at one time. This methodology can quickly provide quality test results for individuals within the group, without requiring retesting in the majority of cases. Pooled testing may be used for populations at low risk of COVID-19, when testing demand exceeds laboratory capacity, or when testing reagents are in short supply.
“We believe science and technology are the best ways to beat the virus, and our matrixed pooled testing method is another way LabCorp is helping to respond to this health crisis,” said Brian Caveney, chief medical officer and president of LabCorp Diagnostics. “Pooling methods test groups of individuals efficiently and with high quality, while increasing our overall testing capacity. The demand for testing continues to increase and we are committed to finding innovative solutions to ensure testing is available.”
LabCorp’s matrixed pooled testing method involves testing up to five samples at once. If there is a positive sample in the pool, LabCorp can identify the individual positive sample in the pool using patterns detected by its robotic testing platform. Pooled testing can reduce the number of tests required in specific populations, optimize laboratory testing supplies, and increase testing capacity.
LabCorp received the EUA from the FDA on July 24 for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in upper and lower respiratory specimens from individuals suspected of COVID-19, using a matrix pooling strategy (i.e., group pooling strategy), containing up to five individual upper respiratory swab specimens (nasopharyngeal, mid-turbinate, anterior nares or oropharyngeal swabs) per pool and 25 specimens per matrix, where each specimen is collected under observation or by a healthcare provider using individual vials containing transport media. Negative results from pooled testing should not be treated as definitive. If a patient’s clinical signs and symptoms are inconsistent with a negative result or results are necessary for patient management, then the patient should be considered for individual testing. Specimens included in pools where the positive sample cannot be identified using the matrix must be tested individually prior to reporting a result. Specimens with low viral loads may not be detected in sample pools due to decreased sensitivity of pooled testing.
LabCorp’s COVID-19 molecular test has been authorized by the FDA under an EUA only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, and not for any other viruses or pathogens, and has not been FDA cleared or approved. The test is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.
This EUA is effective until the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 is terminated under Section 564(b)(2) of the Act or the EUA is revoked under Section 564(g) of the Act.
LabCorp (NYSE: LH), an S&P 500 company, is a leading global life sciences company that is deeply integrated in guiding patient care, providing comprehensive clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services. With a mission to improve health and improve lives, LabCorp delivers world-class diagnostics solutions, brings innovative medicines to patients faster, and uses technology to improve the delivery of care. LabCorp reported revenue of more than $11.5 billion in 2019. To learn more about LabCorp, visit www.LabCorp.com, and to learn more about LabCorp’s drug development business, Covance, visit www.Covance.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements with respect to clinical laboratory testing, the potential benefits of COVID-19 testing, our responses to and the expected future impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the opportunities for future growth. Each of the forward-looking statements is subject to change based on various important factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, including without limitation, whether our response to the COVID-19 pandemic will prove effective, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and financial condition, as well as on general economic, business, and market conditions, competitive actions and other unforeseen changes and general uncertainties in the marketplace, changes in government regulations, including healthcare reform, customer purchasing decisions, including changes in payer regulations or policies, other adverse actions of governmental and third-party payers, the Company’s satisfaction of regulatory and other requirements, patient safety issues, changes in testing guidelines or recommendations, federal, state, and local governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, adverse results in material litigation matters, failure to maintain or develop customer relationships, our ability to develop or acquire new products and adapt to technological changes, failure in information technology, systems or data security, and employee relations. These factors, in some cases, have affected and in the future (together with other factors) could affect the Company’s ability to implement the Company’s business strategy and actual results could differ materially from those suggested by these forward-looking statements. As a result, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of our forward-looking statements. The Company has no obligation to provide any updates to these forward-looking statements even if its expectations change. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Further information on potential factors, risks and uncertainties that could affect operating and financial results is included in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Forms 10-Q, including in each case under the heading RISK FACTORS, and in the Company’s other filings with the SEC.