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Direct-from-saliva test will provide rapid, reliable results for high-frequency surveillance testing

February 9, 2021

MAKO Medical Laboratories, a national reference laboratory and leader in COVID-19 testing, has deployed a new, direct-from-saliva PCR test for COVID-19 to support extensive, high-frequency surveillance testing. The TaqCheck SARS-CoV-2 Fast PCR Assay carries out the test directly from a patient’s saliva and reduces equipment, materials, time, and labor required for nucleic acid extraction. Additionally, the new direct-from-saliva PCR tests offer patients a more convenient and non-invasive way to submit a COVID-19 PCR test.

“MAKO Medical’s priority is the safety and security of our communities, and that starts with providing rapid, reliable test results,” said Josh Arant, COO, MAKO Medical. “The TaqCheck Fast PCR test provides a better patient experience, gives us the ability to streamline our lab’s workflow further, and continue to expand our capacity to meet the critical need for rapid COVID testing.”

MAKO, a College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited laboratory, has processed more than 5 million COVID-19 tests across 30+ states for medical providers, employers, and governments – turning around results in what one state leader called an “ultra-fast” way. In addition to the COVID-19 PCR Test, MAKO offers the company’s new COVflu-19™, a test that allows for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19), Influenza A, and Influenza B from a single swab.

With the rise of COVID variants, the MAKO team utilizes a new Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) research panel as a part of their work identifying the new mutations and variants. This research-only platform allows for the mapping of more than 99% of the SARS-Cov-2 genome and is specifically able to detect the B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom), B. (South African), and Denmark variants, along with many others.

MAKO Medical operates more than 70,000 square feet of laboratory space across two North Carolina facilities, one in Henderson and one in Raleigh. The Henderson facility was expanded in 2020 in response to COVID-19, increasing the lab’s capacity from 50,000 COVID-19 tests per day to over 100,000 tests per day. In the past 12 months, the MAKO team has grown from 350 people to more than 1,000.

Company Highlights:

  • March 2020, Forbes Magazine included MAKO Medical in its inaugural list of America’s Best Startup Employers. Only 500 companies nationwide earned the distinction.
  • August 2020, MAKO Medical announced the company scored 100% on CAP COVID Proficiency Testing, demonstrating MAKO’s commitment to quality lab results.
  • December 2020, MAKO Medical surpassed 4 million COVID-19 tests processed by the company’s North Carolina team.
  • Committed to the U.S. Military—At MAKO’s founding, leaders carved out divisions of the company to hire U.S. military veterans. These teams are foundational to MAKO’s elite and high touch client services model. In November 2020, MAKO held its first Veterans Day lunch to honor veterans. The company served a free meal to all Vance County veterans and their family members.

INCLUDED PHOTO: MAKO Medical team members processing COVID-19 testing samples at Henderson, NC lab facility