Operation Catapult: Sonora Quest COVID-19 Testing Expansion

Published by The Bee News

July 9, 2020

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Sonora Quest Collaborates with State and Healthcare Leaders to Significantly Expand COVID-19 Testing Capacity in Arizona

PHOENIX (July 9, 2020) – Governor Doug Ducey announced today a strategic collaboration with Sonora Quest Laboratories, the market share leader in diagnostic laboratory testing in Arizona, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and PerkinElmer, Inc. (NYSE: PKI), a global leader committed to innovating for a healthier world, with one goal: expand COVID-19 testing in Arizona. The collaboration will support the strategic plan to catapult Sonora Quest’s COVID-19 diagnostic testing capacity in a material way to meet and exceed the rising demand in Arizona.

“This partnership will enable Arizona to continue rapidly expanding testing across the state, helping ensure all Arizonans have access to affordable, available testing with speedy turnaround of results,” said Governor Ducey. “I’m grateful to Sonora Quest Laboratories, PerkinElmer and the Arizona Department of Health Services for their innovative solutions to help protect the health and safety of Arizonans.”

Through this collaboration, the State of Arizona and Arizona Department of Health Services are providing Sonora Quest Laboratories $2 million toward the purchase of new processing equipment. Sonora Quest continues to be committed to investing time and resources for community testing, and is contributing an additional $6 million toward the expansion to increase access to health care for Arizonans.

Sonora Quest expects to reach the capacity to perform up to 35,000 diagnostic tests per day by the end of July, and up to 60,000 tests per day by the end of August. The dedicated project team at Sonora Quest will be working 24 hours a day to install, validate and deploy the new production lines, which will include chemagic™ 360 instruments, JANUS® G3 Primary Sample Reformatters and PCR+ Workstations, to automate PerkinElmer’s RNA extraction and RT-PCR testing. The breadth of PerkinElmer’s total workflow solutions will enable Sonora Quest to rapidly process samples at higher volumes, ultimately helping decrease turnaround time in testing.

“The goal is to have test results available within 24 hours for anyone tested,” said David A. Dexter, President & CEO, Sonora Quest Laboratories. “I wish to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Dr. Cara Christ, Director of ADHS, and PerkinElmer for supporting Sonora Quest. Together, we are making a significant difference in the Arizona healthcare community to provide ample testing throughout this pandemic.”

“Despite the recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the United States and some testing locations experiencing capacity shortfalls, PerkinElmer has complete SARS-CoV-2 testing solutions available and ready for delivery. We are teaming with Sonora Quest to meet their increased testing volume requirements and will continue to build capacity to support broad-based testing globally,” said Masoud Toloue., Ph.D., Vice President & General Manager, Diagnostics, PerkinElmer.

Sonora Quest’s priority remains the health and safety of all the patients and communities they serve. These efforts continue to build upon outreach and actions to expand testing for all Arizonans, including the most vulnerable and underserved populations.

“We are excited to partner with Sonora Quest to expand COVID-19 testing in Arizona,” said Dr. Cara Christ, ADHS director. “Since the start of the pandemic, ADHS has worked with Sonora Quest and several other private laboratories across Arizona to increase access to testing and laboratory capacity. We will continue to work with all of our lab partners to find ways to make testing more available to everyone in our state.”

Patients who believe they may have active COVID-19 are strongly encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or locate an Arizona Testing Blitz site for sample collection at https://www.azdhs.gov/testingblitz. Patients suspected of having or confirmed to have active COVID-19 infection or disease should not visit a Sonora Quest Patient Service Center. Sonora Quest Patient Service Centers do not offer collection for diagnostic COVID-19 testing.

The collaboration between Sonora Quest and PerkinElmer is an expansion of its existing relationship, in which EUROIMMUN, a PerkinElmer company, provides tests to support Sonora Quest’s antibody testing.

For more information about the COVID-19 testing service, visit www.SonoraQuest.com/coronavirus.

About COVID-19 testing at Sonora Quest

Sonora Quest is the leader in infectious disease testing services in Arizona with a broad menu of molecular, antibody, and other test services to aid in diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. On March 20, 2020, the company introduced an RT-PCR test allowing for the detection of nucleic acid in respiratory specimens of patients meeting CDC’s clinical criteria for COVID-19 testing. RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 are generally used to aid diagnosis during active disease. Sonora Quest has performed and reported results of more than 400,000 diagnostic COVID-19 tests. Ramping up its fight against COVID-19, Sonora Quest began offering antibody testing for COVID-19 using blood specimens on April 24, with a physician order. That was quickly followed by a direct-to-consumer offering through their My Lab ReQuest ™ solution starting May 8, giving patients the ability to order the antibody test without a doctor’s order or insurance.

About Sonora Quest Laboratories

Sonora Quest Laboratories, a joint venture between Banner Health and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), is part of the nation’s largest integrated laboratory system with approximately 3,500 employees serving more than 26,000 patients every day throughout Arizona. Sonora Quest Laboratories is the market share leader in clinical laboratory testing in Arizona, performing nearly

90 million diagnostic tests per year. Sonora Quest Laboratories offers a local comprehensive test menu which encompasses routine, molecular, prescription drug monitoring, genetic/genomic, women’s health and pathology testing services. My Lab ReQuest provides consumers direct access to a diverse range of affordable screening tests that can be ordered online at SonoraQuest.com or in any of Sonora Quest’s 75 patient service centers across Arizona. Ninety-eight percent of all testing is performed at the primary testing facilities located in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott and Yuma. Sonora Quest Laboratories is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), which is the gold standard in laboratory accreditation, helping laboratories to maintain accuracy of test results and ensure accurate patient diagnosis. This accreditation ensures the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients as CAP inspectors examine laboratory staff.


About PerkinElmer

PerkinElmer enables scientists, researchers and clinicians to address their most critical challenges across science and healthcare. With a mission focused on innovating for a healthier world, we deliver unique solutions to serve the diagnostics, life sciences, food and applied markets. We strategically partner with customers to enable earlier and more accurate insights supported by deep market knowledge and technical expertise. Our dedicated team of about 13,000 employees worldwide is passionate about helping customers work to create healthier families, improve the quality of life, and sustain the wellbeing and longevity of people globally. The Company reported revenue of approximately $2.9 billion in 2019, serves customers in 190 countries, and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information is available through 1-877-PKI-NYSE, or at www.perkinelmer.com.

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