Virginia biotech company Aperiomics decreased pricing for its COVID-19 test - Technical.ly DC

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Apr. 1, 2020 1:43 pm

Virginia biotech company Aperiomics decreased pricing for its COVID-19 test

The pathogen-testing company says its Xplore-COVID-19 test will now be covered by Medicare and private insurance providers, with direct billing available soon.
Aperiomics’ COVID-19 testing in action.

Aperiomics' COVID-19 testing in action.

(Screenshot)

After nearly two weeks of conducting COVID-19 testing, biotech company Aperiomics has decided to decrease the initial testing price from $250 to $99 out of pocket.

The six-year-old biotech company uses genomic analysis and machine learning to detect known pathogens from a sample of any nature in just one test. Aperiomics’ flagship Xplore-PATHO tech can accurately identify nearly 40,000 microorganisms including over 12,000 clinically relevant pathogens, the company reports.

The company said that this pricing change came after it saw a big response from the community — in terms of number of orders as well as supply support from partners and more volunteer help — allowing it to scale up its testing capabilities and capacity. Aperiomics began deploying its Xplore-COVID-19 testing kits to doctors and hospitals on March 20.

“Over the past several weeks, and in coordination with industry partners including Integrated DNA Technologies and Zymo Research, Aperiomics has been able to secure the materials required to perform testing,” Aperiomics CEO Crystal Icenhour told Technical.ly via email. “Testing capacity nationwide is growing but still limited.”

An Xplore-COVID-19 testing kit from Aperiomics. (Courtesy photo)

Aperiomics collaborated with Iowa-based Integrated DNA Technologies, which is supplying primers and probes needed to conduct tests, and California-based Zymo Research, which is providing DNA/RNA sample collection and RNA extraction reagents.

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The company developed the Xplore-COVID-19 test at its headquarters in Sterling. Orders must be authorized by licensed medical professionals, rather than from customers directly, and once Aperiomics receives orders, sample collection kits are sent out to medical professionals to administer to patients. Doctors then ship the samples back to Aperiomics to perform testing in which results will be provided within 48 to 72 hours.

“Aperiomics’ test leverages existing, certified laboratory equipment and industry-standard sample collection techniques, RNA extraction, and PCR identification technologies,” said Icenhour. “This testing is comparable to the testing performed and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — a known and well-understood way of identifying viruses.”

The Xplore-COVID-19 test will be 100% covered by Medicare and private insurance providers, with direct billing for Medicare available by the end of this week and coming soon for most private insurance plans, the company said. Since beginning testing, Aperiomics reports that it has deployed “several hundred” testing kits into the field.

“Since making our announcement, we immediately saw interest from health systems in the DMV region and across the world,” Icenhour said. “We have begun processing and delivering results as of Monday and expect to maintain a strong cadence of testing for the foreseeable future. We believe we will be able to exceed our original prediction of 1,000 tests per week and we encourage any medical professionals who have patients that need to be tested to contact us directly.”

After Aperiomics notified Virginia’s division of Consolidated Laboratory Services that it has begun testing for COVID-19, the company was connected with the Virginia Department of Health so it could begin reporting testing results to the state and the CDC for tracking, Icenhour said. Virginia’s COVID-19 case data is updated daily at 9 a.m and findings are published online.

To continue to combat the spread of COVID-19, Aperiomics employees and volunteers are screened for the virus  every two weeks.

Medical professionals interested in ordering Aperiomics’ Xplore-COVID-19 testing kits can contact the company at orders@aperiomics.com or 703-229-0406.

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