Eurofins Announces Partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks to Scale COVID Response through Waste Water Testing for Traveler-Based SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Surveillance Program in U.S. Airports
9 September 2022
Eurofins Genomics has partnered with Concentric by Ginkgo Bioworks on an expanded program that will serve as an early warning system to detect new or emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, and can facilitate response to future travel-associated outbreaks and pandemics. It provides a pulse of COVID-19 cases and the arrival of variants among international travelers, delivering important data as the country monitors the global COVID-19 situation.
What started as a pilot program last year, become the nation's first large-scale, sustained travel biosecurity platform. The program is currently operating in four of the busiest international airports in the U.S.: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK); Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR); San Francisco International Airport (SFO); and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).
The program is expected to expand with additional testing sites in the existing airport locations along with a new location at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) this fall. Concentric and XpresCheck have also led a research and development effort on the use of wastewater monitoring, performed by labs at Eurofins Genomics, from arriving aircraft as an innovative new tool for travel, and plan to work with CDC to explore a wider implementation as a part of the monitoring program.
"Through our close partnership with CDC and XpresCheck, we've been able to build an effective biosecurity platform at critical points of entry to help public health officials mount timely and targeted responses to COVID-19," said Matt McKnight, General Manager, Biosecurity at Ginkgo. "We share a collaborative, long-term innovation mindset, and we believe this program expansion will give us the opportunity to develop and scale the capabilities needed to provide a global weather map of infectious disease and help manage travel-associated outbreaks and pandemics in the years to come. Public-private partnerships like this help disrupt the panic-neglect cycle that holds us back from achieving accessible and sustainable biosecurity for everyone."
“Eurofins Genomics is proud to partner with Ginko Bioworks on this effort to provide an early warning for finding new COVID-19 variants and give travelers and public officials time to prepare for a possible threat and to help with achieving a greater level of biosecurity” –Sumit Gupta, President Eurofins Genomics America
About Eurofins Genomics
Eurofins Genomics is a leading provider of DNA synthesis, DNA sequencing services, gene synthesis, and next generation sequencing. The company's strengths are its speed, quality, and commitment to customers, which include the pharma, diagnostics, food, agriculture, biotechnological and research sector. For further information, please visit EurofinsGenomics.com.
About Eurofins Scientific
Eurofins Scientific, through its subsidiaries (hereinafter “Eurofins” or “the Group”), believes it is a global leader in food, environmental, pharmaceutical and cosmetics products testing and in agroscience CRO services. It is also one of the global independent market leaders in certain testing and laboratory services for genomics, discovery pharmacology, forensics, CDMO, advanced material sciences and in the support of clinical studies. In addition, Eurofins is one of the leading global emerging players in esoteric clinical diagnostic testing. With over 47,000 staff across a network of more than 900 independent companies in over 50 countries generally specialised by end client markets and operating more than 800 laboratories, Eurofins offers a portfolio of over 200,000 analytical methods to evaluate the safety, identity, composition, authenticity, origin, traceability and purity of biological substances and products, as well as providing innovative clinical diagnostic testing services. The Group’s objective is to provide customers with high-quality and innovative services, accurate results on time and, when requested, expert advice by its highly-qualified staff.
About Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing optimization and therapeutics discovery. For more information, visit www.ginkgobioworks.com.