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LifeLabs, Multiplex Genomics Partner on Coronavirus Testing in Canada

NEW YORK — Laboratory services firm LifeLabs said on Tuesday that it has partnered with Multiplex Genomics to perform SARS-CoV-2 testing and track virus variants in Canada.

Through the alliance, Toronto-based LifeLabs will provide SARS-CoV-2 test samples that Multiplex Genomics will analyze in order to confirm positive or negative results. Multiplex Genomics — a spinout of the University of Guelph's Centre for Biodiversity Genomics — will also sequence positive samples in order to assign them to SARS-CoV-2 variants.

The companies aim to analyze 20,000 COVID-19 samples a day, with the goal of increasing their capacity to 50,000 tests daily by the middle of the year, LifeLabs said.

"This made-in-Canada solution combines LifeLabs' deep operational and supply chain experience with Multiplex Genomics' innovative diagnostic processes, allowing Canada to rapidly scale its testing capacity to meet increased demand at a time when we need it most," LifeLabs President and CEO Charles Brown said in a statement.