ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tuesday marked the official opening of Minnesota’s new COVID-19 saliva testing lab in Oakdale, Minnesota. Governor Tim Walz toured the lab and highlighted the importance of testing to the state’s comprehensive strategy to combat COVID-19. The Infinity BiologiX (IBX) COVID saliva lab will have the capability of processing up to 30,000 samples a day when operating at full capacity and will employ up to 250 Minnesotans. The lab is part of a collaboration with Vault Health, the developer of the at-home and on-site COVID saliva testing platform, and IBX, the developer of the saliva test.
“Testing is a key component of our strategy to protect Minnesotans from COVID-19,” Governor Walz said. “Our saliva testing partnership has already helped bring testing access to Minnesotans across the state, and this new lab will better prepare us to track, understand, and fight the virus in our communities.”
The saliva testing program with Vault Health and IBX, which has contributed to a 65% increase in testing in the state since September, includes the creation of up to 10 semi-permanent testing sites across Minnesota, a mail-order program which will launch a pilot later this month, and the creation of the Oakdale lab. Initially, the lab will process tests only from the semi-permanent sites running across the state.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with the state of Minnesota in their mission to keep their communities healthy by increasing access to COVID-19 testing," said IBX Chief Executive and Scientific Officer, Dr. Andrew Brooks. "By opening the IBX lab here in Oakdale, Minnesotans will have the optimal testing experience. Not only will they be able to easily obtain a test they can trust, but also receive their results in less time. The Minnesota IBX lab is a powerful example of what other states can also do to ensure the health of their citizens remains a top priority."
"Minnesota is at the forefront of unlocking testing for their residents through our partnership with testing sites, a mail-order test program, and a new testing lab in Oakdale,” said Vault Health Co-Founder and CEO, Jason Feldman. “Minnesota is an outstanding case study for other states to see how a multi-dimensional testing program can be implemented at speed to help prevent the spread of COVID and protect the population."
Testing will increase as more semi-permanent sites open, the mail order program expands, and other organizations decide to contract with the State to utilize the testing capacity. The lab will reduce shipping time by allowing samples to be couriered from collection sites in the state instead of being shipped to the IBX lab in New Jersey.
Funding for the lab was reviewed by the Legislative Advisory Commission and comes from the federal CARES Act.
About Infinity BiologiX
Infinity BiologiX (IBX) is a market-disrupting next-generation central laboratory. It collaborates with, and provides services to researchers and organizations in both the public and private sectors, including sample collection and processing, storage and analytical services, and scientific and technical support in both the research and clinical arenas. The company was previously RUCDR Infinite Biologics before spinning off from Rutgers University-New Brunswick in August 2020.
For more information, visit www.ibx.bio
About Vault Health
Vault Health is a performance healthcare technology platform designed to help men through specialized in-home treatments for better health. Vault helps men overcome shortcomings in existing healthcare offerings through extensive education, professional medical evaluation, and personalized treatment. At the onset of COVID-19, Vault Health shifted focus and joined in the effort to address the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate testing with the first FDA-authorized saliva test for men, women, and children.
To learn more about Vault Health, visit vaulthealth.com/covid.