Ichor Blood Services expands in-home COVID-19 antibody testing amid high demand
Ichor Blood Services currently offers bookings in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto, with immediate plans to expand
CALGARY — Ichor Blood Services, a Calgary-based mobile lab collection service company, announced July 14 its plans to immediately expand its service offering to Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, Alta.
The company gives people the opportunity to pay out of pocket for COVID-19 antibody serology testing completed through their partner, disease testing firm StageZero Life Sciences. StageZero operates a high complexity lab in Richmond, Virginia, and is performing COVID-19 testing using FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approved methods.
“Antibody testing is an important complement to active virus testing to identify the portion of the population that may have already been exposed to the virus,” said Mike Kuzmickas, founder and CEO, Ichor, in a prepared statement. “Ichor Blood Services is pleased to be working with StageZero to offer private antibody testing that gives individuals peace of mind, and employers a better-defined back to work plan.”
When a blood sample is collected and sent to StageZero, negative antibody results are reported from an initial test with +99% certainty, according to Ichor, and the results are provided to the patient or employer through a secure online portal. If the initial test shows a positive result for antibodies, a second confirmatory test is run, which if positive will validate the presence of antibodies.
“What is interesting so far is that more than 30% of our positive antibody test results in Alberta have come from asymptomatic patients,” said Kuzmickas. “This means the number of active COVID-19 cases is likely higher than currently known. Antibody testing can provide a significant and important source of data to help our health care leaders plan for the future.”
Ichor’s COVID-19 antibody testing service requires Ichor’s standard $75 + GST home visit collection fee, with the cost of the antibody test itself at $120 + GST per person. A family of 4 having test collections done at the same time at the same place would cost $555 + GST.