MAY 11, 2020 Intelligence: Late-Breaking Lab News

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Clinical laboratories in other countries have similar challenges in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United Kingdom, the Independent reported last week that “Widespread testing for coronavirus has been suspended among staff and patients at hospitals and GP practices serving 3.5 million people because of a shortage of vital chemicals.” According to Independent reporter Shaun Lintern, medical laboratories serving South London are unable to access adequate supplies of reagents and other clinical lab supplies required to meet the demand for COVID-19 testing.


Just as in the United States, the news media in the United Kingdom is publishing stories daily about the gap between the number of COVID-19 tests needed and the ability of medical laboratories in that country to deliver enough COVID-19 tests. The Independent wrote that “the South West London Pathology Partnership provides testing for St. George’s Hospital, Kingston Hospital Foundation Trust, Croydon Health Services Trust, and Epsom and St. Helier Hospitals Trust. It also serves more than 200 GPs across the capital.”


In Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a substantial decline in routine test volumes at the nation’s medical laboratories. To cut their costs during the outbreak, several lab companies are asking general practice (GP) clinics to accept a 50% reduction in the rent they pay to maintain blood draw stations in the clinics. However, loss of this revenue is hurting GP practices. The Guardian noted that David Dahm, an accounting consultant to GPs in Adelaide, described these GP clinics as “gazing into a ‘funding black hole,’” with Dahm adding that “GPs live off [the government’s practice incentives program] and pathology rent [for drawing stations in their practices].”


• Personal Genome Diagnostics of Baltimore appointed Megan Bailey as its new CEO. Bailey has held executive positions at Roche Diagnostics and Ventana Medical Systems.

Personalis of San Jose, Calif. announced that Stephen Moore is now its General Counsel. Moore formerly served at Pacific BiosciencesNavigenics, Affymetrix, and Adobe Systems.

Ingo Chakravarty is the new President and CEO of Mesa Biotech of San Diego. He previously held positions at Navican, GenMark Diagnostics, Gen-Probe, Roche Diagnostics, and Ventana Medical Systems.



Have you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know …

…how the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) at the University of California, Berkeley used its research equipment to make a COVID-19 diagnostic testing laboratory operational in just a few weeks. It can do 3,000 tests daily with results in four hours.

You can get the free DARK Daily e-briefings by signing up

That’s all the insider intelligence for this report. Look for the next briefing on Monday, June 1, 2020.



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