Ithaca’s Rheonix could speed up coronavirus test results

Coronavirus

ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The head of an Ithaca company is making a small tweak to the company’s system used in another industry. With it, COVID-19 tests can come back in hours and not days.

Rheonix is a company that helps breweries test for organisms that can spoil beer at any point in the manufacturing process. The company can also help food producers track the source of listeria to slow or stop an outbreak.

Now the company wants to help with COVID-19 testing.

“It’s virtually the same thing we do for all this other stuff, which is really why we were very able to very readily jump into coronavirus testing,” said the President and CEO of Rheonix, Greg Galvin.

Around New York State, testing isn’t really the issue. People don’t have to go to the hospital or doctor, they can drive up to sites in Syracuse and Ithaca and not even get out of their car.

The problem is that the results are taking days, sometimes up to a week, to come back.

“We could literally have one of these instruments sitting there and they could have answers back in half a day,” said Galvin.

Galvin said, given their inventory and amount of samples they can do per day, realistically Rheonix can probably only service Central and maybe Western New York.

But, if the company can help some, Galvin said they are all in and as soon as they get FDA approval, they will start shipping.

For Rheonix and our employees it’s actually kind of jazzed up the whole organization. There’s this sense of need, purpose, urgency; everybody’s pulled into it. Everybody’s working on it full-time, tests are running 24.7.

Greg Galvin – President and CEO of Rheonix

Galvin said that the company should have everything ready to file that application with the FDA in the next two weeks.

He also said that they will file for approval under the agency’s Emergency Use Authorization, which they have been turning around very quickly for other people who have done so.


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