WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University is partnering with a Colorado company led by a Purdue alum to offer rapid antigen COVID-19 testing for undergraduate, graduate and professional students taking classes on the West Lafayette campus who will be living off campus (not in the residence halls or in Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life housing) during the spring 2021 semester.
The Protect Purdue Health Center, as part of its comprehensive pre-arrival testing strategy, will team with Boulder-based Biodesix Inc. (Nasdaq: BDSX) to test more than 20,000 residential students for COVID-19 who will be living off campus during the spring semester from Jan. 9 through Jan. 22. Purdue is covering the costs of this test as part of its Protect Purdue initiative.
Students who will be living on campus (in residence halls or in Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life housing) for the spring semester and those who are returning to campus from outside the United States will be tested separately. Testing of faculty and staff is also conducted separately.
Results of the rapid test, which uses a simple nasal swab to collect the sample, are expected to be available within 30 minutes and delivered to students via text message with a link to secure results. Each participating student will receive instructions on how to register for testing, schedule an appointment and complete testing through an easy, secure online portal.
“Adding a COVID-19 rapid test capability to our comprehensive Protect Purdue pre-arrival testing strategy through this Biodesix partnership builds on the effectiveness of our efforts this fall to safely reopen campus for in-person classroom instruction,” said Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer of the Protect Purdue Health Center (PPHC).
“Adding a COVID-19 rapid test capability to our comprehensive Protect Purdue pre-arrival testing strategy through this Biodesix partnership builds on the effectiveness of our efforts this fall to safely reopen campus for in-person classroom instruction,” said Esteban Ramirez, chief medical officer of the Protect Purdue Health Center (PPHC). “We are committed to doing all that we can to confidently continue offering a safe and healthy learning environment for our Purdue community of more than 50,000 students, faculty and staff and to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.”
In-person student instruction for the spring semester will begin Jan. 19. All Purdue undergraduate students in the spring 2021 residential option, as well as all graduate and professional program students, must be tested for COVID-19 and cleared for campus access by the PPHC before moving into residence halls or Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life houses and/or attending classes.
Biodesix has extensive experience supporting rapid COVID-19 testing for university students and student athletes. In fall 2020, Biodesix partnered with Quidel Corp., the manufacturer of the FDA-authorized SOFIA 2 SARS rapid antigen test, to provide COVID-19 testing for the Big Ten, which has used their system for all 14 athletic departments in the conference since Sept. 30.
“We continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic carefully in light of the recent surge in case counts around the country,” said Scott Hutton, chief executive officer of Biodesix and a Purdue alum from the College of Health and Human Sciences. “We are pleased to be able to assist Purdue in its continued efforts to offer a safe and healthy learning environment in the face of ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19 and this global pandemic.”
Any Purdue student who tests positive must self-isolate and may not be on campus for any reason until medically cleared by the PPHC to move into a residence hall or Fraternity, Sorority and Cooperative Life house and/or begin on-campus programming and classes. PPHC will help students navigate the self-isolation process.
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Biodesix is a leading diagnostic company with a focus in lung disease. The Company develops diagnostic tests addressing important clinical questions by combining multi-omics through the power of artificial intelligence. Biodesix is the first company to offer six non-invasive tests for patients with diseases of the lung. Biodesix launched the SARS-CoV-2 ddPCR™ test and the Platelia SARS-CoV-2 Total Ab in response to the global pandemic and virus that impacts the lung and causes COVID-19. The blood-based Biodesix Lung Reflex® strategy for lung cancer patients integrates the GeneStrat® and VeriStrat® tests to support treatment decisions with results in 72 hours, expediting time to treatment. The blood-based Nodify Lung™ nodule risk assessment testing strategy, consisting of the Nodify XL2® and the Nodify CDT™ tests, evaluates the risk of malignancy in incidental pulmonary nodules, enabling physicians to better triage patients to the most appropriate course of action. Biodesix also collaborates with many of the world’s leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to solve complex diagnostic challenges in lung disease. For more information about Biodesix, visit biodesix.com.