Aldatu Biosciences Partners with Ginkgo Bioworks to Scale COVID-19 Response Through Pooled Testing in K-12 Schools

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“Pooled testing is a key component to reopening our K-12 schools,” said Iain MacLeod, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Aldatu Biosciences. “We look forward to working with Ginkgo to get our kids back to school.”

Aldatu Biosciences, the leader in adaptive PCR diagnostic tests, announced a partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks (“Ginkgo”), the organism company, to advance pooled testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Ginkgo and Aldatu will play a major role in the effort to reopen K-12 schools full-time.

President Biden recently announced that over $81 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan would be made available to states to support the return to in-person learning. As more schools work to support in-person learning environments, communities across the country have turned to routine COVID-19 testing to monitor the virus and, in conjunction with other mitigation measures, help to slow or prevent outbreaks. Even as teachers and guardians become eligible for vaccines, clinical vaccine trials for individuals under 16 are just beginning, and efforts to track and mitigate viral spread remain critical.

Aldatu has partnered with Concentric by Ginkgo to provide pooled testing to communities in New England and beyond. In pooled testing, as many as 25 individual swabs are tested together using the PCR method; if a positive result shows up, participants in that pool can receive rapid COVID-19 tests or other follow-up testing. This can increase testing capacity and lower overall costs for routine testing programs.

“Pooled testing is a key component to reopening our K-12 schools,” said Iain MacLeod, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Aldatu Biosciences. “We look forward to working with Ginkgo to get our kids back to school.”

Concentric by Ginkgo currently supports communities in over 15 states with pooled testing, with over 800 schools signed up to test. “What we’ve proven here in Massachusetts is a COVID testing model that can support schools across the country as they work to return to in-person learning,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder of Ginkgo Bioworks. “Testing every student, every week brings communities the data they need to make public health decisions, to bring confidence to schools, and to interrupt chains of viral transmission.”

Aldatu recently launched a new service, Aldatu Diagnostics, to provide rapid-turnaround clinical diagnostic lab testing services for hospitals, employers, and other large organizations coping with new demands during the pandemic. The firm doubled in size and moved to a new, state-certified laboratory in Watertown. Aldatu sells its diagnostics in kit form to health care providers, NGOs, governments, and other groups around the world.

“COVID-19 presents unique diagnostic testing challenges,” added MacLeod. “As the disease spreads, more localities need to engage in widespread testing to identify and contain outbreaks. At the same time, the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to mutate. This makes it crucial to employ a test that can accurately detect the virus and keep false positives and false negatives to a minimum.”

About Aldatu

Aldatu Biosciences is the leader in adaptive PCR-based diagnostics for global health and emerging diseases, including COVID-19. Aldatu packages its diagnostics in kit form and performs lab testing services at its CLIA-certified laboratory. Aldatu’s technology was developed at Harvard Medical School. Aldatu is a Delaware-registered Public Benefit Corporation. Learn more at

About Ginkgo Bioworks

Headquartered in Boston, Ginkgo Bioworks uses the most advanced technology on the planet—biology—to grow better products. The company’s cell programming platform is enabling the growth of biotechnology across diverse markets, from food to fragrance to pharmaceuticals. Ginkgo is also actively supporting a number of COVID-19 response efforts, including community testing, epidemiological tracing, vaccine development and therapeutics discovery. For more information, visit


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