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California Firms Abiogenix and FATHOM Partner to Develop Unique Swab for COVID19 Pandemic

05/05/2020
San Francisco-based Abiogenix and Oakland, California-based FATHOM, have partnered to bridge the spiral nasopharyngeal swab test kit shortage, by inventing and producing a swab with a unique spiral design.

According to company officials, over 150 NP swab designs were evaluated in a clinical trial by Harvard's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The Abiogenix spiral design, made by FATHOM, using Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology, was selected as the preferred 3D printed swab by clinicians and patients alike. Swabs were engineered for breakpoints for bend-and-twist sterile separation and have been clinically and mechanically evaluated by Harvard-BIDMC.

The swabs are now readily available to the medical industry and testing centers around the country. FATHOM will have the ability to scale production of testing swabs from 100,000 to millions, company officials said.

"When Dr. Ramy Arnaout, Associate Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories at Harvard-BIDMC, initiated the call to medical device manufacturers to play an important part in the COVID-19 test kit swab shortage, we activated our network of medical professionals, engineers, and 3D manufacturers immediately," said Goutam Reddy, CEO of Abiogenix. "We have collaborated swiftly and arduously to heed the call. In only 35 days, our design is now fit for mass production," concluded Reddy. Forecast 3D is supporting the high volume demand by ramping up support up to 1MM+ per week.

"This entire process is a prime example of how additive manufacturing and the right team can facilitate a condensed development life cycle through a very collaborative and iterative process. Coupled with the extreme motivation to combat a global pandemic, we looked to leverage FATHOM's unique expertise and capabilities to assist in solving this problem," said Rich Stump, COO at FATHOM.

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