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Dascena Labs, Ginkgo Bioworks Partner to Scale Pooled SARS-CoV-2 Testing in Schools

NEW YORK – Dascena Labs announced on Friday that it has partnered with Ginkgo Bioworks to offer scalable pooled testing for K-12 schools. 

Dascena will partner with Concentric by Ginkgo, the firm's biosecurity and public health effort that has been a national testing provider for schools, Dascena said in a statement. The firms will perform pooled classroom testing, combining samples from all consenting people in a classroom and running them as a single test to increase testing capacity and lower costs. Concentric by Ginkgo has validated pooled testing for labs across the country serving K-12 schools. 

The news of the partnership comes after the Biden administration announced $10 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan for routine school testing.

"Testing should be available to every student, every week, in every school that needs it - and we’re confident that the significant funding for school testing announced by the Biden administration last week will support communities during this vital phase of pandemic response," Jason Kelly, CEO and cofounder of Ginkgo, said in a statement. 

Earlier this week, the Rockefeller Foundation announced an initiative with 21 testing manufacturers, including Gingko, to guide schools on providing COVID-19 testing. 

Dascena Labs was launched by machine learning diagnostic company Dascena last year to address the COVID-19 pandemic by providing PCR testing for the virus and algorithm-based population management and molecular testing solutions to communities and healthcare providers. Since it opened, the lab has processed more than 720,000 samples, it said.