GenMark Diagnostics, Inc., a provider of automated, multiplex molecular diagnostic testing systems, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the company’s ePlex SARS-CoV-2 Test.
GenMark’s test was developed for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus in nasopharyngeal swab samples for patients suspected of COVID-19 by their health care provider. Rapid and easy detection of SARS-CoV-2 is becoming increasingly critical and customers are adopting the ePlex test based on the workflow and ease-of use to address this urgent need. The test is exclusively for use on the company’s ePlex system, which had a global installed base of more than 500 analyzers as of December 31, 2019. The ePlex sample-to-answer system provides an automated solution to the diagnostic process and provides results in under two hours with the capacity to process up to 96 tests per 8-hour shift. The ePlex system’s modular and expandable design enables near-patient COVID-19 testing to be widely accessible to meet the needs of various types of laboratories, from small decentralized sites, to large central hospitals and laboratories.
“Because ePlex enables near-patient testing and is available in hospitals and labs across the United States and in more than 30 countries, results can be returned to doctors and patients more rapidly than with other platforms. Our unique ability to quickly diagnose and begin treatment of critically ill patients addresses the challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic. We are proud of our team’s ability to rapidly respond to this urgent public health crisis,” said Scott Mendel, Interim Chief Executive Officer. “The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization of our test supports GenMark’s commitment to provide critical and actionable diagnostic information to healthcare providers so that they can better manage their patients.”
Initial customer validations of the ePlex® SARS-CoV-2 (RUO) Test were met with positive laboratory customer feedback, including from both existing customers and new sites. GenMark is one of the first companies to commercialize a rapid sample-to-answer test to help meet the critical testing need during this public health crisis and has provided nearly ten thousand tests to customers since the beginning of March.
“GenMark reached out to us several weeks ago to ask for our help to run the first patient samples on their RUO ePlex SARS-CoV-2 Test,” said David T. Pride, MD, PhD, director of the Clinical Molecular Microbiology Laboratory and associate director of the Microbiology Laboratory at UC San Diego Health. “We completed the validation and were the first lab in the U.S. to go live with the ePlex test.”
GenMark is continuing to invest in additional manufacturing capacity with current capability to supply approximately 100,000 ePlex tests per month to support near patient testing. “Demand for our tests has been extraordinary, especially as centralized testing supply has been limited. Our team is working 24/7 to fight this global pandemic and we are taking every step possible to continue this pace, including consulting with local, state, and federal agencies. The COVID-19 outbreak highlights the value of rapid, near-patient multiplex molecular diagnostics to the global healthcare ecosystem that enables better patient triage, bed management, and patient care decisions,” concluded Mendel.