Pleasanton Company Creates Coronavirus Test Kits

NBCUniversal, Inc.

An East Bay company is playing a critical role in ramping up testing for the coronavirus by developing the first commercially available test to receive emergency authorization by the FDA.

Roche Labs in Pleasanton has not only developed a new coronavirus test, but those tests can deliver results in just three and a half hours. 

As testing for COVID-19 expands across the country, the demand is overwhelming. One drive-through location in Colorado was so busy it had to close early. 

At Kaiser Permanente medical team processed people in about five minutes, but for many people the wait for a test continues.

Michael Schutzler has had symptoms for eight days, but hasn’t been able to get tested.

“I cannot get tested,” he said. “There is no testing available for anyone in my situation. That’s because I’ve been in contact with a known positive test case.”

But with Roche Labs’ test kits, availability will get a boost. The FDA has approved the company to ship the kits out to the Bay Area and across the U.S.

“We already have 400,000 tests available,” said Dr. Paul Brown, Global Head of Roche Molecular Solutions. “Those are being shipped out this weekend and over the next week. We expect to send out another 400,000 tests per week.”

The highly automated molecular testing system can process as many as 960 tests in eight hours, providing the volume needed during this pandemic. 

According to the company, it expects to send out 1.5 million tests in a month. 

Contact Us