Grand Rapids genetic testing company’s partnership offers pooled COVID-19 testing for public schools

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Grand Rapids’ NxGen MDx announced a partnership with Concentric by Ginkgo in Boston to provide COVID-19 testing that can be used to aggregate settings such as schools that run personal or hybrid learning environments using a scalable and simple testing modality – pooled testing.

As more schools begin to support personal learning environments, communities across the country have turned to routine COVID-19 testing to monitor the spread of the virus. NxGen MDx, which specializes in genetic testing, said clinical vaccine trials for those under the age of 16 are just beginning and efforts to track and mitigate the spread of viruses remain critical even when vaccine teachers and guardians are eligible .

Ginkgo’s Concentric said its goal is to bring simple, affordable pool tests to every school in America. Pooled classroom testing, which combines swabs from all consenting individuals in a classroom and runs as a single test, can significantly increase testing capacity and reduce testing program costs. Working with labs like NxGen MDx, Concentric by Ginkgo is currently running tests for hundreds of schools across the US

“It is our mission to ensure that cost and lack of access are never a factor in COVID-19 testing,” said Alan Mack, CEO of NxGen MDx. “So it made perfect sense to work with Ginkgo.”

“Given that communities are considering the many models of COVID-19 testing available, pooled testing is an affordable option for identifying pockets of prevalence when schools are about to reopen,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. “We started Concentric because everyone’s health is interconnected and schools have the ability to test every student. Every week, it delivers the critical information and confidence that communities need.”

School districts can learn more about how to get involved on the Concentric website.

NxGen MDx LLC is a women’s health company that specializes in genetic testing for families planning for the future. NxGen MDx uses cutting-edge technology, including rapid molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases and genetic screening technology that examines the entire gene, not parts of the gene, giving women and families a comprehensive assessment of their health.

Concentric by Ginkgo is Ginkgo Bioworks’ commitment to public health and biosecurity. The company’s cell programming platform enables biotechnology to grow in a variety of markets including food, fragrance, and pharmaceuticals.

Ginkgo also supports a range of COVID-19 response efforts, including community testing, epidemiological tracing, vaccine development, and therapeutic discovery.

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