January 20, 2021
This week, MAKO Medical Laboratories, a national leader in COVID-19 testing, identified thirteen (13) COVID test samples with the B.1.1.7 variant of the novel coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), to date, only 122 cases of COVID caused by the variant have been identified.
“Our findings show that the mutation has begun to work its way throughout the United States. We are in constant communication with public health leaders to keep them informed and updated,” said Steve Hoover, Vice President of Laboratory Operations at MAKO Medical.
The B.1.1.7 variant was first detected in the United Kingdom in September and detected in several other countries as of late 2020. According to the CDC, B.1.1.7 and other variants are highly contagious and could trigger inaccurate PCR and Antigen test results if the laboratory does not test for multiple viral genes causing the virus to spread even further.
A College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited laboratory with more than 4 million COVID-19 tests performed since April, MAKO Medical uses industry-leading testing assays, including the Applied Biosystems TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Assay. MAKO is also utilizing a new Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) research panel as a part of their work identifying the new mutations and variants. This researchonly 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 variant along with many other variants.
“This new NGS research panel gives MAKO the capabilities to detect new variants caused by COVID-19 mutations that may arise, giving public health leaders access to the most recent data,” said Hoover. “MAKO now offers clients and partners the entire end-to-end solution for COVID-19 response from antigen to antibody to PCR to sequencing. MAKO is the one-stop-shop for laboratory services.”
MAKO Medical operates more than 70,000 square feet of laboratory space across two facilities, one in Henderson and one in Raleigh. The Henderson facility was recently expanded 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.
- In March, Forbes Magazine included MAKO Medical in its inaugural list of America’s Best Startup Employers. Only 500 companies nationwide earned the distinction.
- In April, MAKO Medical swiftly transformed its laboratory operations to begin providing COVID19 services.
- In August, MAKO Medical announced the company scored 100% on CAP COVID Proficiency Testing, demonstrating MAKO’s commitment to quality lab results.
- MAKO Medical is 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, 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 testing samples in the Henderson, NC laboratory.