FDA approves SUNY Upstate Medical University COVID-19 swab test

New York News

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras visiting SUNY Upstate Medical University on September 9, 2020 (SUNY)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WWTI) — SUNY Upstate’s COVID-19 saliva swab test has officially received approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced on Wendesday that the individual swab COVID-19 test has been granted emergency use. The test, developed by SUNY Upstate Medical University and Quadrant Biosciences has been used to conduct widespread student testing across State University of New York campuses.

The emergency authorization from the FDA will help New York State labs to use this test. The FDA-authorized saliva test for individuals complements pool testing, which allows for about 10 to 25 people to be screened in one COVID-19 test.

FDA approval will allow the saliva swab test to be brought to scale across New York and the rest of the country. Along with the announcement, Cuomo highlighted the importance of testing in New York and the innovation at SUNY.

“From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s been clear that testing is one of the most critical tools we have to slow the spread. The more you test, the more accurate a picture of the state’s cases you have,” Cuomo said. “This is a perfect example of how New York’s approach of partnering state institutions with the private sector is paying dividends and helping us fight the pandemic.”

Malatras also noted the importance of the recent FDA approval:

“FDA approval of this game-changing COVID-19 test demonstrates the ingenuity of the State University of New York to solve pressing issues,” stated Malatras. “With this approval the innovation developed by Upstate Medical and Quadrant Biosciences will be leveraged on a national scale. This quick, noninvasive testing protocol—which has already boosted SUNY’s testing capacity to 120,000 tests per week—will now help communities across the country better pinpoint and contain COVID-19.”

In August, the New York State Department of Health granted approval for the test to be used by SUNY Upstate for surveillance testing purposes in the SUNY student body.

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