OPKO Health’s BioReference Laboratories Reports Results of COVID-19 Testing for Almost One Quarter of a Million Nursing Home and Live-in Facility Employees

Based on internal data, 29% of nursing home employees tested positive for antibodies

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, BioReference has performed 222,000 COVID-19 PCR and 3,500 antibody tests in over 350 facilities

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., July 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — BioReference Laboratories, Inc., an OPKO Health company (NASDAQ: OPK), today announced the results of COVID-19 molecular PCR and antibody tests for nursing home and live-in facility employees.

On May 10, New York State mandated that all personnel at nursing home and adult care facilities were to be tested for active COVID-19 infection using PCR-based molecular testing, twice per week. The personnel tested included all employees pursuant to a plan developed by the facility and filed with the Department of Health. At the start of the program, many nursing homes asked that employees be tested for antibodies at the same time. The majority of the nearly 3,500 antibody tests were performed within the first two weeks of May. With 29% of employees testing positive for antibodies, an extrapolated estimate for the approximately 140,000 total nursing home staff in New York State suggests as many as 41,760 nursing home staff members in New York State could have had COVID-19 prior to early May.

Test result summary:

Overall 29.0% of nursing home employees tested positive for antibodies

LONG ISLAND106837835.4%

Overall 2.9% of employees tested positive for active infection (positive PCR)

LONG ISLAND533716381.20%

“Of the 3,500 nursing home staff that we tested, 29% were positive for antibodies. The very high positivity rate of antibodies in this employee group by early May would suggest that a significant number of nursing home employees had active COVID-19 disease early on in the outbreak. Although overall positivity rate for active infection is now low, over 6,000 employees were identified with active virus when we tested in May and June. By identifying these individuals, the mandatory testing program most likely prevented the further spread of the virus to thousands of vulnerable nursing home residents. Although it is impossible to calculate, many deaths had to have been prevented,” said Jon R. Cohen, M.D., Executive Chairman of BioReference Laboratories. “Throughout this unrelenting health crisis, BioReference has made it a priority to provide testing to those at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, and we are proud of our efforts to help combat the spread of this virus.”

For more information, visit https://www.bioreference.com/coronavirus.  

About BioReference Laboratories, Inc.
BioReference provides comprehensive testing to physicians, clinics, hospitals, employers, government units, correctional institutions and medical groups.  BioReference has been working expeditiously to develop and offer test services that will yield high quality and accurate results, including a molecular test for helping with COVID-19 diagnosis and an antibody test to help indicate possible COVID-19 exposure. The company is in network with the five largest health plans in the United States, operates a network of 11 laboratory locations, and is backed by a medical staff of more than 120 M.D., Ph.D. and other professional level clinicians and scientists.  With a leading position in the areas of genetics, women’s health, maternal fetal medicine, oncology and urology, BioReference and its specialty laboratories, GenPath and GeneDx, are advancing the course of modern medicine. For more information, visit www.bioreference.com.

About OPKO Health, Inc.
OPKO is a multinational biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company that seeks to establish industry-leading positions in large, rapidly growing markets by leveraging its discovery, development, and commercialization expertise and novel and proprietary technologies. For more information, visit www.opko.com.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements,” as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), which statements may be identified by words such as “expects,” “plans,” “projects,” “will,” “may,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “should,” “intends,” “estimates,” and other words of similar meaning, including statements regarding BioReference’s antibody screening test, the availability of the test and the role and value of the information provided and its impact on decisions relative to the safety of employees and customers, as well as other non-historical statements about our expectations, beliefs or intentions regarding our business, technologies and products, financial condition, strategies or prospects. Many factors could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include those described in the OPKO Health, Inc. Annual Reports on Form 10-K filed and to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, forward-looking statements may also be adversely affected by general market factors, competitive product development, product availability, federal and state regulations and legislation, the regulatory process for new products and indications, manufacturing issues that may arise, patent positions and litigation, among other factors. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the PSLRA.

SOURCE BioReference Laboratories, Inc.