Microbe&Lab, a lab based at the Amsterdam Science Park, now offers reliable coronavirus tests – both for current infections and for antibodies against COVID-19. A travel clinic is also opening this week, for those travelling to countries that require a recent COVID-19 PCR test.
“As a Science Park it has so many SMEs to collaborate with and learn from ”Patrick de Boer, Advisor at Microbe&Lab
Life at the Science Park
The lab’s location at the Science Park, where Microbe&Lab are based in the Matrix VII building, also helped. De Boer is enthusiastic about the Science Park’s facilities, service and the possibilities for cooperation with other companies it offers, saying, “as a Science Park it has so many SMEs to collaborate with and learn from.” Particularly for ambitious projects such as the Coronalab, neighbourly assistance can come in handy. “We are there with four different companies,” De Boer says, “sharing space to work and also lab space, and that works out very well. Our next-door neighbour Neogene have been an excellent help for sharing equipment. They even offered us lab space for Coronalab, as we needed storage space with refrigerators for our large collection of ELISA kits.”
Meanwhile, Amsterdam Science Park landlords Matrix Innovation Center is offering the Microbe Lab Corona tests to its fellow renters at a reduced price – over a hundred individuals have already taken advantage of this special offer.
At home and abroad
The Coronalab’s ‘Coronatest-GEHAD’ kit is one of the first reliable antibody tests to be widely available in the Netherlands. It is currently not 100% certain that people who have had SARS-CoV-2 are immune against future infections, and Microbe&Lab therefore advises everyone, antibodies or not, to continue following the RIVM’s most up-to-date regulations.
The lab’s ‘Coronatest-NU’ kit, a PCR swab test that detects the virus if it is active, is currently only sold to companies and health professionals, but a general release will follow in the coming weeks. The Coronalab also offers a travel clinic. “Some countries such as Austria require a COVID-19 PCR test before entering the country,” says De Boer. “We can test people in the morning, and the results and the medical certificate will be available on the same day.” And once the PCR test is available for everyone, it can be ordered online, in line with one of the goals of Coronalab: “We believe that self-testing is the way forward.”