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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

Austin-based company approved to manufacture rapid COVID-19 test for labs across country

Luminex Corporation, an Austin-based life sciences company, has received emergency FDA approval to manufacture and distribute a rapid COVID-19 test.

AUSTIN, Texas — More tests are heading to the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic after an Austin-based company obtained emergency approval from the FDA.

Luminex Corporation has developed a test that can handle up to 96 patient samples at once and provide results within up to four hours.

“There's incredible demand for testing across the country and throughout the world, and with these tests, it's going to allow many hundreds or thousands of samples to be run every day Luminex platforms,” said Sherry Dunbar, the company’s senior director of global scientific affairs.

As soon as this month, Luminex plans to distribute up to 500,000 test kits per month, Dunbar said.

“This is a great test for large hospital laboratories or reference laboratories where they may be receiving hundreds of samples at one time. And they need a kind of, a really high throughput workhorse type of a system that can run through those as quickly as possible,” Dunbar said.

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The Luminex COVID-19 test can also test for other respiratory infections, like the flu, at the same time, meaning doctors can find out if a patient is suffering from something other than COVID-19.

The company is also working on a second test, which won’t have the ability to test as many samples, but instead will produce in about two hours. So far, the test doesn’t have FDA approval.

Dunbar said the second test would be more appropriate for a smaller or regional lab that doesn’t have to run as many samples as a major hospital system.

“Developing tests is what we do,” Dunbar said. “And we're really happy that this is something that we can do to help during this time. The Luminex team is really proud to be on the front lines of the COVID-19 testing, and we're very proud to be representing that Austin life sciences community.”

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