Color gears up to enter COVID-19 testing space

By Turna Ray, genomeweb

Color, the California-based genetic testing company known for providing hereditary risk testing for cancer and cardiovascular conditions, said on Tuesday that it will soon begin providing COVID-19 testing.

The company is opening a new lab in Burlingame dedicated to SARS-CoV-2 testing and is adapting its existing software infrastructure to make it easier for doctors to order testing and return results.

A spokesperson for the company said that Color is currently operating an RT-qPCR assay with “established primer sets, extraction protocols, and instrumentation.” The company is readying validation data and documentation for this test, but according to the spokesperson, “the FDA has asked that implementation of established protocols not be sent in through the [Emergency Use Authorization] system.”

In the new lab, Color has a goal to perform 10,000 test daily and process results within 24 hours. Color will begin accepting external samples in the coming week and will scale up as staff and instrumentation comes online. “We expect to be at full capacity within weeks,” the Color spokesperson said.

Color said it is also “validating higher-throughput COVID-19 testing techniques, including specialized laboratory protocols, automation techniques, and collection methods,” in collaboration with the Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Weill Cornell Medicine. The company declined to provide further details on these efforts at this time. Read more …