Branford laboratory launches saliva-based COVID-19 tests


BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — What if you could test yourself for COVID-19, and do it without having to leave your house or office? Not only that, but the results are reliable and effective? Well, now you can thanks to a Branford-based laboratory.

Wren Laboratories in Branford has received FDA emergency use authorization for a saliva-based testing and collection device.

“You know there have been a lot of tests for COVID in the last seven/eight months,” Dr. Irvin Modlin, Wren Laboratories said. “Obviously, a great need. Most of them were based on the need to take a thin stick and push it through the top of your nose and possibly the bottom of your brain.”

Certainly effective, but something that was done in a healthcare facility by a healthcare professional. Yale researchers have changed all that.

RELATED: Yale’s saliva-based COVID-19 test receives FDA authorization for emergency use

“What we decided to do was develop something that would be painless, easy to undertake and that a patient could do for themselves,” Dr. Modlin said

Now not everyone has to sit in long lines or put themselves in contact with other potentially positive people at clinics or hospitals.

“One of the things we did was we built a specific buffer to make sure that the virus is neutralized after it’s collected, and make sure that the virus is then stable,” Mark Kidd, Laboratory and Scientific Director at Wren Laboratories.

“You’ll see the stabilizer buffer go from the one tube and mix in the other tube. At that stage the tube is able to be sent by airlines, it can be sent by regular mail.”

Dr. Modlin said that from when they receive the collection device, they will have a result in about three hours and Wren offers an accuracy of 99%.

“All the patient has to be able to do is spit, twist a cap together, and seal a FedEx self-addressed envelope and mail it back.”

The cost of the test including the self-collection device is $150. In certain instances, you can be reimbursed by your insurance. Click here to order a kit.

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