Ichor Blood Services Scales Alberta Operations to Manage Strong Demand for Quantitative COVID-19 Antibody Testing Offered in Partnership with Mayo Clinic Laboratories

·3 min read

Results from 4,300 tests completed to date show a 42% positivity rate for antibodies among unvaccinated Albertans, with 12% having scores equivalent to double vaccinated clients.

CALGARY, AB, Oct. 18, 2021 /CNW/ - Ichor Blood Services, a private lab specimen collection company based in Calgary, Alberta, has increased its collection capacity to accommodate strong demand for the company's qualitative COVID-19 antibody test offered in partnership with Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester, MN. The test provides an antibody strength score on a scale from 0 to 250 U/ml (units per milliliter), to inform clients as to the level of antibodies and protection they have against SARS-COV-2.

Ichor Blood Services Scales Alberta Operations to Manage Strong Demand for Quantitative COVID-19 Antibody Testing Offered in Partnership with Mayo Clinic Laboratories (CNW Group/Ichor Blood Services)
Ichor Blood Services Scales Alberta Operations to Manage Strong Demand for Quantitative COVID-19 Antibody Testing Offered in Partnership with Mayo Clinic Laboratories (CNW Group/Ichor Blood Services)

"When we launched this offering in July, I was confident that it would be well received by the market, but the demand we've experienced has been much stronger than we were expecting," said Ichor CEO, Mike Kuzmickas. "We've now scaled capacity and added new locations to meet the strong demand for COVID-19 antibody testing in Alberta."

Since Ichor began tracking COVID-19 antibody levels amongst its clients in Alberta, results have consistently showed a 42% positivity rate amongst those who have self-identified themselves as unvaccinated, with 12% of those unvaccinated clients showing antibody levels of 250 units per milliliter, which is the upper threshold of the test.

Test results for those who self-identified as fully vaccinated show that 70% have antibody levels at the upper threshold of the test at 250 U/ml, while 30% came back with scores below 250, out of which 10% scored zero. Ichor believes that quantitative COVID-19 antibody testing provides important data that should be considered in the Government's pandemic response, and the company urges policy makers to begin including this data in its decision-making process.

"The data proves that vaccines offer very strong antibody protection for the vast majority of people who get immunized, but we can also clearly see that there is a percentage of people who get no protection, even after two vaccine doses," continued Kuzmickas. "At the same time, we can see that a percentage of unvaccinated people have strong antibody levels and 42% of unvaccinated people have some level of antibodies in their system. These tests can be a powerful tool for policy makers to get a more nuanced understanding about protection from COVID-19 in the population."

Ichor is willing to share the anonymized data with policy makers and offers to partner with the Government of Alberta if there is interest to make its COVID-19 antibody testing and anonymous test results available.

"We have reached out to the provincial government with test results, and we appreciate that the timing of that outreach was challenging since the fourth wave was stressing resources," added Kuzmickas. "Now that infection rates appear to be heading in the right direction, I believe its time for Alberta to begin looking at antibody levels. I know that the Premier has expressed interest in this, and Ichor is willing and able to support these efforts."

Ichor continues to facilitate other asymptomatic COVID-19 testing to its clients, including travel testing and rapid testing, along with a suite of other testing such as prenatal genetic testing, oncology solutions, and general lab work. Ichor will be launching at-home services through its new mobile booking software in early November.

About Ichor Blood Services
Ichor is an Alberta-based, private lab specimen collection company that offers various private testing options for its clients through agreements with several North American laboratories. Their current offerings include a full suite of COVID-19 tests, prenatal genetic screening, cancer screenings, and other contracted lab specimen collection services.

Ichor is an Alberta-based, private lab specimen collection company that offers various private testing options for its clients through agreements with several North American laboratories. Their current offerings include a full suite of COVID-19 tests, prenatal genetic screening, cancer screenings, and other contracted lab specimen collection services. (CNW Group/Ichor Blood Services)
Ichor is an Alberta-based, private lab specimen collection company that offers various private testing options for its clients through agreements with several North American laboratories. Their current offerings include a full suite of COVID-19 tests, prenatal genetic screening, cancer screenings, and other contracted lab specimen collection services. (CNW Group/Ichor Blood Services)

SOURCE Ichor Blood Services

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