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Katko urges Biden to look at Upstate’s success with pandemic research, testing to guide nation’s response to omicron

Amid a nationwide surge in omicron cases, U.S. Rep. John Katko urged President Biden to use the research and technology developed by academic medical centers in Central New York, like SUNY Upstate Medical University, to guide the nation’s public health response and improve testing.

In a letter to President Biden, Katko highlighted Upstate’s efforts to develop cutting-edge COVID-19 antibody testing and urged Biden to integrate this technology into the administration’s national testing strategy.

Innovative antibody tests developed by Upstate use saliva, instead of a blood draw, to detect trace amounts of COVID-19 antibodies following vaccination or an infection. With Upstate’s technology, public health officials can produce better informed protocols and guidance regarding vaccination timing, isolation instructions, and other public health measures.

The saliva-based diagnostic Covid test was developed by researchers at Upstate and Quadrant Biosciences, a Start Up NY company based in the CNY Biotech Accelerator  granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September 2020.

“In Central New York, medical centers like SUNY Upstate Medical University have been on the forefront of our COVID-19 response. SUNY Upstate has lent its expertise to guide our public health response and pioneered the best COVID-19 antibody test,” Katko said. “As new COVID-19 variants emerge and cases rise, I urged President Biden to look to local medical centers like SUNY Upstate for guidance and technology that can improve our nation’s public health response and testing strategy.”