Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics and Cenetron Diagnostics Team up with Coca-Cola Bottlers to Produce COVID-19 Test KitsJune 1, 2020
BETHESDA, Md. & AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics, an innovative molecular tool, assay and vaccine development company focused on serving unmet critical needs in both developed and developing nations, and Cenetron Diagnostics, a cutting-edge clinical research logistics management company, today announced a collaboration with Southeastern Container (SEC), to expand production of COVID-19 testing kits. SEC is a co-operative funded and managed by a group of independent Coca-Cola bottlers serving the United States and Canada.
As part of the collaboration, Cenetron and other medical product manufacturers will begin producing COVID-19 testing kits using Longhorn’s proprietary PrimeStore® Molecular Transport Medium (MTM) and preform Coca-Cola bottles, sourced from SEC, as test tubes. The goal is to manufacture 1-2 million preform test tubes per week to help meet the broader US testing goal of performing 10 million COVID-19 tests per week.
Longhorn’s PrimeStore MTM is the only FDA cleared nucleic transport device that inactivates microbes within the device. By CDC guidelines, inactivated samples can be transferred to point of care devices and laboratory based molecular testing equipment without the need for a biological safety cabinet, reducing the time from collection to results. Samples can be easily and quickly moved from the Coca-Cola preform to microcentrifuge tubes for rapid automation.
“We are very thankful for the top notch team of problem solvers in the Diagnostic Group at HHS, and the scientists at Oak Ridge and Sandia Laboratories for facilitating this solution through Coke Consolidated, SEC Containers and Berry Global,” said Jeff Fischer, President of Longhorn. “Cenetron and our growing network of manufacturing partners, many of which are small, family owned business, have stepped up to provide much needed filling capacity while providing additional jobs to their communities. These first-rate Coca-Cola preforms, with leak proof caps, will ensure that we can continue to produce as many PrimeStore MTM sample collection devices as the country needs.”
Cenetron, which was acquired by Versiti in 2019, has been manufacturing specimen collection kits for over 25 years and was Longhorn’s first contract manufacturer of PrimeStore MTM. The Cenetron team has increased production capacity from 30L to 1600L per week and added additional filling shifts. Versiti has opened up an additional site to further meet demand.
“When the request came for Cenetron to produce millions of PrimeStore MTM tubes, our team had to quickly put all of our resources into setting up and designing systems that allowed us to scale up the project, all while working to keep our employees as safe as possible,” said Brandon Harper, Cenetron’s Chief Operating Officer. “We realize that we must continue to innovate in order to keep our pharma customers, and ultimately patients, safe and moving forward.”
About Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics
Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics is an innovative molecular tool, assay and vaccine development company focused on serving unmet critical needs in both developed and developing nations. Longhorn’s core product, PrimeStore® Molecular Transport Medium (MTM), is a patented, FDA approved, state-of-the-art ambient temperature molecular diagnostic collection and transport device that can help governments, global health organizations and drug manufacturers improve the diagnosis and treatment of highly infectious diseases such as Influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). Unlike standard devices for collecting and transporting TB samples, PrimeStore® MTM is the first molecular transport device that can safely deactivate pathogens and stabilize RNA and DNA, allowing enhanced point of care and ambient temperature transport for laboratory based molecular testing and characterization. Longhorn is based in Bethesda, Maryland with a diagnostic research and development facility in San Antonio, TX.
Cenetron is a concierge clinical trial logistics solutions management company with more than 25 years of experience and hundreds of completed clinical trials worldwide. In addition to offering industry-leading central laboratory services with an extensive test menu powered by Versiti, Cenetron provides solutions, like customizable specimen collection kits, tailored to fit unique clinical research parameters. With 24-hour turnaround time for custom kits, same day pull-and-ship SampleConcierge, and real-time results available through our GlobeSync Web Portal, Cenetron lends unparalleled speed, efficiency and quality to your clinical trial. Cenetron is based in Austin, Texas.
Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics
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