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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Genalyte and San Diego Blood Bank team up to fight COVID-19

David Wellis, CEO of the San Diego Blood Bank, said collaboration is something that San Diego does best.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Call it a match made in biotech heaven. 

Genalyte, a San Diego based health care analytics company, just rolled out a quick and very accurate antibody test for COVID-19. The San Diego Blood Bank has the extra capacity for drawing blood right now. 

Together they formed a partnership that will allow people know whether they have the antibodies, and turn that knowledge into a product that could save lives.

David Wellis, CEO of the San Diego Blood Bank, said collaboration is something that San Diego does best.

Blood Bank staff perform a simple 4 ML blood draw and send the sample to Genalyte labs, located in San Diego. 

The Blood Bank's phlebotomists are not as busy as usual because of the downturn in elective surgeries at this time, so they're available for this mission.

Genalyte CEO Cary Gunn said once they get the sample, they can typically turn out a result in 24 hours. 

Genalyte's new serology test is FDA approved, and the Maverick Diagnostic System includes a silicon chip that includes all the parts of the virus. They flow a patient's blood over that chip to get their results.

According  to Genalyte, the test is lab proven and incredibly accurate.

Genalyte's test is so powerful that it will not only tell if someone has the antibodies, but it will also tell what type of antibodies that individual has.

Antibodies against one particular spike of the protein means an individual will have what's called a neutralizing antibody, which would be most effective in preventing someone from getting COVID-19. 

It also means an individual's blood plasma could be used to fight COVID-19 in patients. 

They call it Covid Convalescent Plasma, and it recently received emergency FDA approval as a COVID 19-therapy. 

David Wellis said Covid Convalescent Plasma is showing compelling results in patients.

"People on deathbeds being sent home, recovered. I think the data I think we'll see in time will be very, very compelling and it's actually saving lives," he said.

That's where this unique partnership comes full circle. 

If an individual's Genalyte test comes up positive for the antibodies, he or she can donate their plasma at the San Diego Blood Bank, and they can get the potentially life saving help to somewhere it's needed. 

Wellis said this kind of collaboration is something that makes San Diego special.

"I've worked all over the country in biotech, in Boston and San Francisco and here and there's nothing quite like the collaboration here," he said. 

Fore more information on the FDA approval of Covid Convalescent Plasma therapy, click here.

To make an appointment for an antibody test, visit: https://www.genalytecovid19.com/.

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