Battelle-OSU Wexner Medical Center Partnership Aims to Expedite COVID-19 Diagnostics; Lou Von Thaer Quoted

Jeff Brody
Lou Von Thaer

Battelle and Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center have collaborated to develop a novel coronavirus test that the hospital intends to administer under an existing Food and Drug Administration certification.

The partnership created the test in efforts to shorten the turnaround time for COVID-19 diagnosis and accelerate test processing in accordance with clinical guidelines in the state, Battelle said Monday.

Lou Von Thaer, president and CEO of Battelle and a 2020 Wash100 awardee, said the nonprofit company has decades of infectious disease research experience and has worked with federal health and national security organizations in public health threat response efforts.

“With this collaboration, we will increase testing right here in Ohio to better help health care professionals and public health officials understand, treat and prevent the spread of the virus,” Gov. Mike DeWine said.

More than 100 researchers and clinicians at the Wexner Medical Center have worked with researchers at Battelle since March 14 to establish a laboratory that will support the COVID-19 testing process.

The new testing system is designed to generate results as few as five hours and can initially process approximately 200 tests each day. Both institutions expect the tool to process over 1K test swabs daily when testing infrastructure is fully completed.

Ohio was able to process the state’s initial 91 tests for diagnosis last week using the two institutions’ equipment in a pathology lab certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Battelle is setting up a second lab in West Jefferson to help increase the availability of testing procedures and is seeking Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment certification from CMS to commence clinical testing efforts.

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