ICYMI (Associated Press): Nephron Donation Helps UofSC Start Free COVID-19 Saliva Tests

August 18, 2020 AP logo

From the Associated Press:

The University of South Carolina is joining a handful of universities nationwide to implement saliva tests for COVID-19, as part of its plan to reopen for classes this week.

The school said West Columbia-based Nephron Pharmaceuticals donated 50,000 sample tubes and a robot for processing samples.

“If we want to stop the spread of this deadly virus, we have to expand COVID-19 screening where breakouts can occur, such as college campuses, and that is why this partnership with Carolina is so important,” Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy said in a news release.

The saliva testing approach could lower the barrier to testing across the state, as no trained personnel, testing sites, or personal protective equipment are needed to collect samples, USC School of Medicine professor Helmut Albrecht told state legislators earlier this month. People could provide samples in classrooms and airports, churches and dinner parties, and even at home, Albrecht said.