Premier Medical Laboratory Services (PMLS), headquartered in Greenville, SC, reports their findings that the Omicron variant is now confirmed to be present in the Upstate. The laboratory has been surveilling for Omicron and other novel variants through Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) in partnership with the Clemson University Bioengineering Department. Clemson University REDDI Lab has collected samples from throughout the upstate community and was funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to then have these specimens undergo NGS at PMLS. NGS is the process of decoding the genetic make-up of the virus to track how it is mutating and spreading throughout the population.
“As a proactive and solutions-driven company, we implemented Next Generation Sequencing to meet the needs of our population with preparedness for novel variants like Omicron,” said Kevin Murdock, CEO and Founder of Premier Medical Laboratory Services. “Through partnerships like ours with Clemson University, we are happy to increase the amount of data for South Carolina and the entire nation which is vital for vaccine efficacy and our understanding of the virus.”
Knowing the importance of accumulating data in the continued fight against the pandemic, PMLS implemented one of the largest sequencing initiatives among any lab in the nation – with the capability to sequence up to 42,000 samples per week. Many labs that are conducting COVID-19 testing have not developed the capabilities to conduct sequencing, and new variants cannot be fully identified via COVID-19 diagnostic testing methods alone. PMLS will continue working to uncover any further novel variants and mutations that COVID-19 presents and notify health officials.
To learn more about our findings and partnership with Clemson University read MSN’s article.
Other ways PMLS has helped to meet demands during the pandemic:
- Processing lab for Human Health Services surge sites and several state health departments
- Blue Cross Blue Shield preferred COVID-19 testing lab in several states
- Reached one of the highest testing capacities in the nation with the capability to process over 300,000 tests per day
- Developed medical data management software that communicates directly from laboratory equipment for faster HIPAA compliant delivery of data to healthcare providers and patients
- Shifted production to add in-house manufacturing of COVID-19 testing kits
- Donated thousands of COVID-19 tests to children’s diabetes summer camps throughout the nation
- Donated hundreds of thousands of masks to local law enforcement, paramedics, fire departments, hospitals, and the Shriners organization and has provided free testing to first responders during the pandemic