How effective is the COVID-19 vaccine for a particular person? With the reports of breakthrough cases, that information can be lifesaving.
Bucks County biotechnology firm FlowMetric received $750,000 in state funding secured by Pennsylvania State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks) for a COVID-19 vaccine efficacy test at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center.
This test can reportedly determine if a person generated a positive immune response to the vaccine. In addition, it determines the length of a patient’s immune response, the strength of a person’s immune response to the vaccine, and whether a patient has been previously exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.
“If the last year and a half taught us anything, it’s that having data and information is critically important,” said Santarsiero, during a recent press conference. “I was proud to advocate for the Keystone Communities Program Grant for FlowMetric, a company that is really on the cutting-edge doing great work, here at the PA Biotech Center. This test will not only determine vaccine efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States but will lead the way for future vaccine efficacy testing.”
Renaldo Capocasale, CEO of FlowMetric, thanked Santarsiero for his help in securing the funding, adding, “This is a historical day for FlowMetric Life Sciences. We are accepting a grant from Senator Santarsiero and the state of Pennsylvania, with deep gratitude.”
“Everything we do is about dealing with and addressing unmet medical needs,” Capocasale said. “When the COVID pandemic began, we quickly recognized that we could support testing in ways we felt would make a great contribution, and that has led to the recognition by Senator Santarsiero and his colleagues that testing for immune response to COVID 19 vaccines is beneficial and going to provide great value.”
The event also included a tour of the mobile lab by co-founder and chief technology officers for Veterans Technology Systems, Robert Hillard, the lab developer. The funding will expand the mobile labs to improve access to community-based testing and purchase lab equipment to expand testing capabilities.
Santarsiero added, “A few months ago, I was able to bring my colleagues in leadership of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees on a tour of the PA Biotechnology Center, which included a stop at FlowMetric. While here, I took the COVID-19 Vaccine Immune Response Test, and when the results came back, I learned I had COVID-19 before receiving the vaccine. My colleagues and I were all incredibly impressed with this innovative test and its implications on public health moving forward. The work that is being done here underscores how important this type of technology is and why the state being able to invest in this research is so critically important.”
FlowMetric officials told Patch that while this vaccine efficacy test has not been approved or reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration, they determined that “such approval or review is not mandatory.” In addition, Individuals can request this vaccine efficacy test from their doctor.
FlowMetric is housed in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, a Life Sciences incubators, located in Buckingham Township. For more information on the COVID-19 Vaccine Immune Response Test, visit http://www.vaxeffect.com.