Chad Price’s MAKO Medical Laboratories Team Finds Novel Coronavirus Variant in U.S. Tests

Last week, a national leader in COVID-19 testing, MAKO Medical Laboratories, made a landmark discovery in its research. Under the guidance of CEO Chad Price, the expert medical team switched its focus at the start of the pandemic to offer both testing and research services to the wider community. Recently, the renowned company has found cases of a new novel coronavirus variant.

The MAKO Medical Laboratories team has now identified 13 COVID test samples with the new B.1.1.7 variant of the virus. To date, only 315 cases of COVID caused by the variant have been identified, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The current identified cases are based on SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens from laboratories, but there may be more cases across the United States that have yet to be detected.

“Our findings show that the mutation has begun to work its way throughout the United States. We are in constant communication with public health leaders to keep them informed and updated,” said Steve Hoover, vice president of laboratory operations at MAKO Medical.

In September 2020, the B.1.1.7 variant was detected in the United Kingdom. This instance was the first reported case of the new novel coronavirus. However, as we moved toward the end of the year, the variant was detected in several other countries around the world. The B.1.1.7 strain of the COVID virus and other variants are highly contagious.

According to the CDC, these variants have the potential to trigger inaccurate PCR and antigen test results if the lab fails to test for multiple viral genes. For that reason, the work that the team at MAKO Medical Laboratories is doing is crucial in controlling the virus.

MAKO Medical Laboratories is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). Since April 2020, the company has performed more than four million COVID-19 tests using the latest testing assays, including the Applied Biosystems TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Assay.

The MAKO Medical Laboratories team uses a new next-generation sequencing (NGS) research panel in its testing. The panel allows the expert researchers to identify new mutations and variants of the novel coronavirus. Allowing the mapping of more than nine percent of the SARS-Cov-2 genome, the research-based platform is a game-changer. It is thanks to this innovative platform that the team was able to detect the B.1.1.7 variant.

“This new NGS research panel gives MAKO the capabilities to detect new variants caused by COVID-19 mutations that may arise, giving public health leaders access to the most recent data,” explained Hoover. “MAKO now offers clients and partners the entire end-to-end solution for COVID-19 response, from antigen to antibody to PCR to sequencing. MAKO is the one-stop shop for laboratory services.”

Based in both Henderson and Raleigh, the MAKO Medical laboratories occupy more than 70,000 square feet in total. In direct response to the COVID-19 outbreak at the start of 2020, the company quickly expanded the Henderson laboratory facility. The move increased the lab’s capacity from 50,000 COVID-19 tests each day to more than 100,000 tests per day. What’s more, to handle the growing volume of work, the MAKO Medical team has expanded from 350 people to more than 1,000 employees.

About MAKO Medical

MAKO Medical is supported by an expert team of nationally recognized medical doctors and doctorate holders, specializing in methodology development and pathological services. The revolutionary healthcare brand prioritizes patients and offers complete transparency.

Founded in 2014 by Chad Price, Adam Price, and Josh Arant, the company aims to disrupt the sector and offer support to the wider community and veterans. The industry-leading company combines a wealth of new technology, including robotics, app platforms, and cloud-based tech. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the laboratories have adapted their services to offer speedy and accurate testing.

About Chad Price

Chad Price is the CEO and co-founder of MAKO Medical Laboratories. Armed with a natural entrepreneurial spirit, the professional has had a wealth of success with startups. He co-founded BrideGenie and founded Element Services Group Mechanical LLC. He also played a major role in starting Cary Reconstruction and is a board member for Trill A.I. He started MAKO Medical in 2014 with his brother and their mutual friend.

Chad Price now offers tailored consulting services to companies embarking on new mergers or primed for growth. With years of experience starting and running successful enterprises, he is in the ideal position to offer insightful support every step of the way. He works on projects with both simple structures and scalable operations.

Founder & CEO of Mako Medical