MAKO Medical Laboratories, a College of American Pathologist (CAP) accredited laboratory and a leader in COVID-19 testing, has recently added a highly sensitive antigen test to help detect the virus in patients. This new test is a cost-effective mass-screening tool that enables MAKO to determine if a patient has COVID more quickly.
The newly developed antigen test identifies the SARS-CoV-2N protein antigen, which is typically detectable during the acute phase of infection. Using the DiaSorin LIAISON SARS-CoV-2 Ag high throughput COVID-19 antigen test, MAKO Medical can now detect the virus in individuals suspected of having COVID by their healthcare providers. The test will play an essential role in understanding whether an individual diagnosed with the virus continues to have and carry the virus.
MAKO Medical’s new antigen test is both cost-effective and efficient. Addressing the benefits of this test, Josh Arant, the COO of MAKO Medical, stated that the “MAKO team is excited to partner with Diasorin to bring this highly sensitive antigen test to the masses. With a sensitivity of 97.1 percent and a specificity of 100 percent, utilizing nasal and nasopharyngeal swabs, MAKO can turn results around in less than 24 hours with a capacity to run over 100,000 tests per day.” The astonishing accuracy and quantity of MAKO’s testing process will undoubtedly be essential in tracking cases throughout the United States, where new cases are still above 50,000 per day.
MAKO has already proven to be a key player in providing these COVID-19 tests. Since the beginning of the pandemic, MAKO Medical has processed more than five million COVID-19 tests across more than 30 states for governments, employers, and medical providers. Its tests scored 100 percent on the CAP COVID Proficiency Test in August of 2020, demonstrating that MAKO Medical is committed to both the quality and quantity of its testing process. Arant hopes that the new antigen test and DiaSorin platform “demonstrates the next level of understanding for COVID-19 cases and allows [the] team to further [its] partnership with health officials across the country as a one-stop laboratory service provider.”
MAKO Medical’s most recent antigen test follows a long line of innovations that it has developed to help curb the spread of COVID-19. In addition to the new antigen test, MAKO Medical has recently begun to offer a new saliva COVID-19 test. Named the TaqCheckSARS-CoV-2 Fast PCR Assay, this test samples directly from a patient’s saliva rather than a traditional nasal swab. This reduces the time, materials, and labor required by the nucleic acid extraction tests. The saliva test is also less invasive and more convenient for patients, which will help ensure that COVID-19 testing is accessible to as many people as possible.
MAKO Medical is leading efforts not only to test for COVID-19 but also to identify novel strains of the virus. As the number of COVID variants continues to rise, MAKO Medical hopes to identify and track as many variants as possible. Using a new next-generation sequencing (NGS) research panel, which maps more than 99 percent of the SARS-Cov-2 genome, the company has identified 163 variant cases of COVID-19. It has specifically detected the B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom) and B.220.127.116.11 (South African) variants, along with many others. These tests are performed in partnership with state health officials and are essential in understanding COVID-19 mutations as they inevitably arise.
To continue its COVID-19 work, MAKO Medical has committed to expanding its offerings and facilities. It currently operates more than 70,000 square feet of laboratory space between its two North Carolina facilities located in Henderson and Raleigh. In response to COVID-19, the Henderson facility was expanded to increase the lab’s test processing capacity from 50,000 COVID-19 tests per day to more than 100,000 tests per day. The organization has also committed to thoughtfully expanding its team to support this growth and has grown from around 350 employees to more than 1,000 in the past 12 months. With the wind comfortably behind its sails, MAKO Medical is in a strong position to keep up the fight against COVID-19.
Chad Price is the founder and CEO of MAKO Medical. In addition to MAKO Medical, he founded and continues to maintain roles at BrideGenie and MakoRX. Prior to these positions, he served as the chief marketing officer of Cary Reconstruction and the founder of Element Service Group Mechanical LLC in 2012. Price resides in North Carolina and is active in his church. He also supports a number of local nonprofits, where he volunteers his time regularly.
MAKO Medical is a healthcare diagnostic laboratory that was founded to help individuals take control of their health care by offering accurate testing and quick results. The organization provides modern imaging, laboratory, diagnostic, and pharmaceutical services to healthcare organizations. Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, MAKO Medical is a pillar of accessible health care and community outreach and has provided free health care to individuals across the country.