Feb 7, 2022
Ted Karkus is the CEO of ProPhase Labs, which is in the battle to provide rapid results from PCR tests for COVID-19. While expecting a winter spike, Ted has been surprised at the record-breaking demand the latest Omicron variant has created. ProPhase Labs has recently acquired Nebula Genomics to provide whole genome sequencing direct to consumers to help guide medical treatment and educate people about diseases they may be predisposed to.
Ted explains, "So, the issue with regard to turnaround times really has more to do with the number of employees you have, and it's very difficult, particularly in this environment, to find qualified lab techs, particularly in the state of New York, if not across the nation. So, we had these tremendous out-of-the-blue spike COVID incidents. The amount of testing, the request for testing went through the roof. All the labs in the country, and certainly in the state of New York, were overwhelmed."
"As you can see, it's not just about the amount of time it takes to process a test with PCR, which is probably four to six hours. It's what the capacity for your lab is. We have three shifts working 24/7, but understand that there was a period in December where the number of specimens that came in, each of our customers, the amount of specimens they sent into us was like double or triple what it had just been a few weeks earlier."
"What we do is provide whole genome sequencing direct to consumers. The future of medicine is all about precision medicine or personalized medicine. It's all about using your genetic makeup to understand what are the best drugs and therapies that will optimally work to treat your condition. We provide whole genome sequencing for $300. So, we're the low-cost provider. Right now, our turnaround times are about six weeks."
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