(Reuters) - Laboratory Corp of America Holding (LH.N) and Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX.N) should conduct tests for coronavirus in the country, former Food & Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted bit.ly/2PMXwWn on Wednesday.
Gottlieb, who is part of Pfizer Inc’s (PFE.N) board, said high complexity labs that perform national testing have the same ability to validate tests as academic and hospital labs that are stepping up to increase testing capacity.
“LabCorp, Quest, others; need to get in the game.”
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn told Congress on Tuesday that testing kits should be available by the end of the week that would give labs the capacity to perform about 1 million coronavirus tests.
In addition to tests distributed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to public health labs, tests are being made by commercial test maker Integrated DNA Technologies, an FDA spokeswoman told Reuters.
The FDA is working with other commercial and academic laboratories to provide even more testing capacity, spokeswoman Stephanie Caccomo said.
Labcorp and Quest Diagnostics did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The latest data lists 108 confirmed and presumed cases and nine deaths in the United States so far from the outbreak.
Last month, Labcorp said it had started developing its own test for the coronavirus and had engaged with U.S. health agency to make the test available to commercial labs. [nL4N2AD42U]
Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli