KEY POINTS

  • Santa Monica-based Quantgene will be helping production houses by offering fast COVID-19 testing
  • Quantgene is a cancer-detection company that started in 2015
  • As of now, Quantgene is presently working with five production companies

As the film and television industry is reeling under the impact of coronavirus, Santa Monica-based Quantgene, a cancer-detection company, has decided to help production houses by offering fast COVID-19 testing.

Speaking exclusively to Variety, Jo Bhakdi, the founder and CEO of Quantgene said the company will be providing on-site testing and the results will be out within a day.

When asked about how the company got into COVID testing, Bhakdi said, "At first, we stayed out of it, thinking someone would take care of the problem. We have a deep understanding of laboratory processes and the entire regulatory framework. Over time — because we have many connections in the movie industry — we started to hear complaints about how long testing was taking and at this rate, with everything grounded to a halt, we won’t have any new movies to look forward to. We began by expanding our laboratory infrastructure and partnered up with more labs around L.A. We looked at billing systems, demands of testing turnaround and logistics."

"The other thing is testing on movie productions need to be conducted daily and the results need to be back fast. So, we put in all the clinical layers and did what we do best — understanding the compliance and regulatory conditions — and had those put on site," he told Variety.

Bhakdi added Quantgene is presently working with five production companies. These companies "have started negotiations with us regarding testing, but they want to keep their names under wrap," he said.

Speaking about the benefits of approaching Quantgene, he said, "Ultimate safety in this time of COVID means daily testing. You have to logistically organize that with a trailer and a nurse doing the tests. You get tested and we deliver the next day. If you’re cleared for that day, you can work. And if you continue to do that daily, then it’s a safe way of ensuring everyone’s safety."

"It really boils down to a combination of adhering to the rules, and of having a deep clinical and technical understanding of what tests are, how they work and when they don’t work, and how to avoid that," he told Variety. 

According to Quantgene’s website, the company started in 2015 "in a small UC Berkeley Lab" with a missing to "save lives through early detection, better prevention and more effective cures for all disease, starting with cancer."

coronavirus home testing kit coronavirus home testing kit Photo: geralt - pixabay