Verdosome, a privately-held molecular testing laboratory with principal operations in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, announced today the introduction of its COVID Pod technology for the testing of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID Pod stands for “COllection Via Intra-Oral Device,” because the process uses a small, absorbent pad placed under the tongue to gather a saliva sample. It’s a testing method that has none of the discomfort associated with nasal swabs and requires no personal protective equipment or medical personnel in the collection process.

“We’re excited to be able to offer a testing method that can address some of the biggest challenges that patients, laboratories and public health agencies are facing today,” said Beau Gertz, president and co-founder of Verdosome. “The COVID Pod has the potential to completely transform our current testing environment by providing a solution that is friendlier to patients, less burdensome on the supply chain and more consistent with guidelines for social distancing.”

These features of the program are particularly important in light of the recent nationwide spike in COVID-19 cases. Testing with the COVID Pod can be performed almost anywhere, reducing the need for collection sites and the potential for exposure they create. Moreover, because the process requires no PPE to gather specimens and Verdosome’s analytical equipment uses commonly available reagents, the company expects to see fewer testing delays or interruptions caused by material shortages.

COVID Pod testing is available to general public, and orders can be placed directly from the company’s website at Laboratory capacity is limited, however – the company can currently perform approximately 2,500 tests per week, and they are seeking investment to grow that total to 30,000 tests per week. At the same time, the company believes that the COVID Pod can contribute in meaningful, measurable ways to the testing shortfall we are experiencing nationwide, and they welcome partnerships with other testing laboratories to introduce the COVID Pod more widely.

For patients not capable of giving saliva samples, Verdosome also provides nasal swab testing using the Agena Bioscience kit which has been submitted to the U.S. FDA for Emergency Use Authorization.

Source: Company Press Release