In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Opentrons Labworks and NYU Langone scientists partnered to form the Pandemic Response Lab to increase NY’s testing capacity and make rapid, accurate and low-cost testing equitably accessible to all populations. After winning a contract with the NYC Economic Development Corporation, PRL opened its NYC lab in August 2020. Within a month of opening, PRL had the capacity to test 45,000 SARS-CoV-2 patient samples per day, delivering 99 percent of results within 24 hours at a significantly reduced cost.
Soon after, PRL built up its NGS capabilities and began non-diagnostic whole genome sequencing on 10-20 percent of all positive SARS-CoV-2 samples to identify and track the spread of new variants of concern, and was the first to detect Beta, Delta and Omicron variants in New York State. PRL expanded to open two more lab locations in Rockville, MD and Irvine, CA to serve customers nationwide. Among its many accomplishments in the past 2.5 years, PRL was able to process over 11 million SARS-CoV-2 tests between its three CLIA-certified labs and upload over 100,000 SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences to the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID), and to garner CAP accreditation in its NY and MD labs.
As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that although the pandemic isn’t over, it has transitioned into a new phase. In light of a rapidly changing external environment, we have made the difficult decision to wind down operations for PRL effective 12/31/22 and make a strategic pivot to center our lab services on non-clinical lab customers. This shift points our company to areas where we can make the most significant impact in the most differentiated way. We will no longer be accepting samples after 12/27 and will reassign our sequencing core and biosurveillance activities to our sister company Neochromosome’s biofoundry operations.
We are grateful to everyone who contributed to making PRL an invaluable public health resource and a successful business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve.
The PRL Team