TGen North, located in Flagstaff, Ariz., which is also home to TGen’s Pathogen and Microbiome Division, has joined the worldwide effort to test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.
Acting as genomic first responders, TGen is using advanced biomedical technologies to study this disease while also working to help establish a statewide tracking network for COVID-19. The organization received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food & Drug Administration in March for its genomic-based test. TGen North and TGen in Phoenix are also busy conducting analyses of samples from suspected and symptomatic individuals for COVID-19 from select communities.
– The Arizona 100 reports
These include Native American communities and special populations, such as long-term health care centers and even jail populations, to help provide support to these often-underserved groups who are most in need. Finally, through TGen, Arizona is moving to establish a comprehensive public health testing program for high-risk but asymptomatic individuals, such as health care workers on the first line of defense in combating this pandemic, who could be a dangerous reservoir for the virus.
Importantly, TGen tests were designed to not rely on the same “supply chain” as the federal government’s COVID-19 test kits. While this is an advantage for conducting the actual tests, TGen and other centers still face sample-collection issues, such as not having enough sample swabs. Regardless, TGen has a robust capacity to conduct COVID-19 testing, which is being scaled up. And, performing tests in Arizona reduces the time to report back results, compared to having to send samples outside of the state for testing.