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Clinical Sequencing Firm Phosphorus Shutting Down COVID-19 Testing, Focusing on Preventive Genomics

NEW YORK ─ Clinical sequencing firm Phosphorus is shutting down its COVID-19 testing business and focusing solely on preventive genomics.

The firm told GenomeWeb that it will accept the last samples for COVID-19 testing on Jan. 14, 2022.

Phosphorus' COVID-19 testing business has primarily served customers doing at-home testing, as well as summer camps and cash-pay employers around the New York City and New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state area, the company's founder and CEO Alexander Bisignano said in an email.

However, "as the vaccines came out, we saw routine employer testing wane in 2021," he added. "Though there is a brief spike at the moment, we think [this is temporary] until more and more people start paying attention to data showing that the virus is much less severe now."

In June 2020, the New York City-based firm had obtained US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization for an at-home saliva test, and in May this year it obtained FDA EUA for a direct-to-consumer version of the saliva-based SARS-CoV-2 assay, as well as for an at-home sample collection kit that can be used with the test.

Meanwhile, the firm said it has seen significant growth in the fourth quarter for sales of its GeneCompass test, which analyzes alterations in more than 400 genes, reporting variants that impact cancer risk, predispositions or risks for other diseases, drug response, and traits associated with other aspects of biology, personal health, and wellness.

It is issuing more than 1,500 test reports per month, up from less than 100 when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak last winter, Bisignano said.

The company closed a financing round for an undisclosed amount this past month and expects to finalize a larger institutional raise in January 2022.

"Growing preventative genomics is our sole focus," Bisignano said, adding, "International expansion [is] a big piece for 2022."