12 Jun Tucson company develops test to detect coronavirus on surfaces and in indoor air
As America looks to reopen its economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, how can one be assured that a workplace and other indoor areas are free of the nasty bug?
A Tucson biotech company says it has an answer, with a system to test for the virus on surfaces and in the air.
PathogenDx says its EnviroX-Rv test can rapidly and accurately detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, and other viral organisms present in the air and surfaces of the surrounding environment.
The company uses a proprietary testing process developed by former University of Arizona research professor Michael Hogan, a Ph.D. expert in DNA testing and chief scientific officer of PathogenDx.
PathogenDx has been providing its patented environmental pathogen testing technology to customers in the cannabis, botanical, agriculture and food-processing markets.
But in late March, after seeing reports from the Centers for Disease Control and other medical authorities that the novel coronavirus can survive in the air for hours and on surfaces for up to three days, the company decided to develop an environmental test for COVID-19, said PathogenDx co-founder and CEO Milan Patel.
The company also has developed a COVID-19 test for patient diagnostics and is awaiting authorization for clinical use from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Patel said.
PathogenDx uses a two-step method based on polymerase chain reaction or PCR — a common lab tool to amplify and analyze DNA used in many COVID-19 tests — and DNA microarray analysis to detect viruses including the coronavirus with greater sensitivity and specificity than common PCR tests, Patel said.