OSU, Battelle Labs reach milestone in coronavirus testing

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center and Battelle Labs are announcing a breakthrough in coronavirus testing. They have developed a method for testing for coronavirus that can transmit results in five hours.

“Three months ago this disease didn’t exist and now here we are today with a new test,” said Peter Mohler, Ph.D, Vice Dean at OSU’s College of Medicine.

OSU is able to run tests under an FDA permit. 

“Our researchers and their researchers have really been working nights and weekends to be able to get this across the finish line,” said Mohler.

Right now, about 200 tests a day are possible with the new method. More than 1,000 tests are expected to be run daily after infrastructure for testing is fully built. 

“Being able to have an engineer, for example, work with a physician we figured out how we could rapidly come up with a test for people who aren’t getting them,” Mohler said.

Battelle Lab’s president and CEO, Lou Von Thaer, said in a statement,”Battelle has decades of experience in infectious disease research and has worked with virtually all federal health and national security agencies to respond to emerging health threats.”

“We’re so very, very grateful for their hard work and know that with this more rapid diagnosis process, it makes a huge, huge difference,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

Just as important as speed and access is accuracy.

“We want to make sure that when we say someone is positive or negative that we have really good data to support that,” said Mohler.

Battelle Labs gained FDA approval this week to roll out their decontamination system. It sanitizes N95 masks so they can be re-used up to 20 times. This while the state struggles to get ppe in the hands of medical professionals. 

Gov. Dewine said about the developments Tuesday, “What you’re seeing is more and more technology is online. Ohio ingenuity is working and there’s more things coming.”

That technology and quicker testing believed to have nationwide impacts. 

“Unfortunately we’re seeing people be lost to the disease all across the world and it’s been heartwarming to see everybody pitching in to come up with answers in real time,” Mohler said.

More than 90 tests have already been conducted using the new method.

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