Lee’s Summit-based Eurofins Viracor will start offering a cutting-edge blood test that can assess organ damage from COVID-19.
The clinical specialty lab signed an exclusive license agreement with Cornell University to commercialize the blood test, which was developed by an inventor Eurofins Viracor previously worked with.
“We developed a good relationship with him over the years and just stayed in touch,” Chief Scientific Officer Steve Kleiboeker said, adding that the inventor gave Eurofins Viracor a heads-up about the new blood test method he was developing.
Instead of a biopsy, physicians can use the noninvasive blood test to look at circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA), an indicator of organ damage.
With typical cfDNA tests, it can be tough to pinpoint where the damage originates, Kleiboeker said. Cornell’s test, however, can narrow it down to tissue and cell type. That’s key for Covid-19, because muscle breakdown can be due to a patient being bedridden, and it won’t affect the long-term outcome. If the test identifies lung damage, it’s a more serious issue.