Frequently Asked Questions
LuminUltra is supplying the Canadian government with 500,000 COVID-19 tests per week for the next year to be used in their testing program. The tests are a crucial step towards defeating COVID-19, protecting Canadians and alleviating the human cost of this disease. It will ultimately enable Canadians a safe and efficient return to normal life as soon as possible.
There are essentially three components to a diagnostic COVID-19 test. There’s 1) the swab collection, 2) the chemicals/reagents used to extract the RNA from the swab and then 3) the device that evaluates the result. We are providing step 2 which works with the existing government devices in their labs
LuminUltra has been in the business of biological testing for over 20 years. We have over 50 customers on the Fortune 500 list, sales in over 80 countries, and operations in 6 countries that are the result of natural expansion and several acquisitions. Despite this size, we maintain a strong culture of innovation and agility, and producing tests to fuel the fight against COVID-19 is a natural extension of LuminUltra’s expertise.
Our immediate focus is on providing Canadian governments with 500,000 tests per week and continuing to meet commitments of our existing customers so they can maintain their own essential services. With that said, we have been a major international player for nearly 20 years, with operations in 6 countries and sales in 80 more. If asked, we have the ability to ramp up our production further.
LuminUltra’s core business focus is providing rapid-result biological testing solutions to municipalities, laboratories and industrial users, with a focus on water applications. We have been in business for more than 20 years and over that time have developed products and services to help companies and organizations all over the world achieve protection from microorganisms like bacteria.
We currently employ 75 people in 6 countries and are actively looking to hire to support our work related to COVID-19. We will reassess regularly to ensure we are appropriately staffed to respond to our government’s call in the fight against COVID-19 while also meeting the commitments of our existing customers.
The safety of our team is our top priority as we complete this critical work. For starters, all staff that can perform their duties remotely are working from home. For those essential team members on-site, we have carefully defined safety protocols that all members of our team must follow. We have prepared carefully to produce this important material at high quality while ensuring staff safety.
Our team has prepared carefully so that we will be able to produce this material at high quality while ensuring staff safety and continuing to meet our commitments to existing customers, ensuring they can maintain their own essential services.
We have already begun shipping tests to the Public Health Agency of Canada. As of April 30, 2020, we have sent one million tests.
Based on our agreement with the Public Health Agency of Canada, we will be producing 500,000 tests per week.
We have been in business for more than 20 years, working with 50+ Fortune 500 companies in over 80 countries around the world. We do have the capability and agility to ramp up test production, but our immediate focus is on the production of 500,000 tests per week for the Public Health Agency of Canada to ensure they have all the tests they need.
The test that we are producing is based on RT-qPCR, which is considered the gold standard for clinical diagnosis of COVID-19.
LuminUltra produces high volumes of similar tests on a daily basis and we have been doing so for more than 20 years. Although we have not produced this particular test before, it follows the same protocols as our existing products so is a natural extension of the work we are already doing.
Reagents are chemical solutions used in performing diagnostic tests, including those needed for COVID-19.
Reagents are prepared by dissolving powdered compounds in a liquid and/or by mixing liquids together. Carefully following well-defined quality control practices is a critical part of reagent production.
Reagents are used in clinical COVID-19 tests to isolate the RNA of the virus. Ribonucleic acid, or RNA, carries the genetic information of novel coronavirus virus. Isolation and subsequent measurement of that specific type of RNA is the objective for this type of test.