Fayetteville-based biotech company Namida Lab Inc. announced Tuesday (April 28) it has prepared a testing site to carry out serological assays for the detection of antibodies produced as a result of the presence of the SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The company has a fully automated, high throughput laboratory that can run up to 3,000 samples daily and provide results within 24 to 48 hours, according to a news release. Namida Lab will dedicate its research and development team to provide large-scale COVID-19 antibody testing.
“COVID-19 came on the scene as we were readying to launch our breast cancer screening test, Melody,” CEO Omid Moghadam said. “But we have paused that project to adapt our mission and lend our help to the greater current need. As our communities look for a path to reopening, antibody testing will help us understand actual infection rates and allow individuals and businesses to make informed decisions based on that information.”
Namida Lab is working to put the infrastructure in place to begin testing and will target healthcare workers and large employers first before offering to test to the general public. The testing is expected to start in early May.
Namida specializes in biomarker-based testing, and its first product, Melody, a screening assay for breast cancer based on proteins isolated from teardrops, is expected to launch later this year. Namida has licensed intellectual property from Ascendant Diagnostics but is a separate entity and under separate ownership, said Jen Morio, business operations manager for Namida Lab. Ascendant, which was established in 2010, closed in 2014 a $2 million investment round to help it carry out clinical trials of an early breast cancer detection test.