FDA Approves Curative Inc's COVID-19 Test

Rachel Uranga

Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor, News. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.

FDA Approves Curative Inc's COVID-19 Test
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The Food and Drug Administration approved COVID-19 testing startup Curative Inc.'s saliva test for emergency use — opening up the door to larger-scale distribution.

The move by the federal agency provides a hopeful sign for the company which is working to develop mass at-home testing that could be used to help open up the country's economy.


As of Friday, 3.5 million people have been tested in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. But as officials from President Donald Trump on down look to jumpstart the national economy and lift stay-at-home orders, the availability of testing will need to be widespread, public health experts say.

Curative has processed 57,700 tests, nearly a quarter of all those administered in California, Curative founder Fred Turner said on Twitter Friday. Turner set up shop in a San Dimas lab last month and became an unsung hero in the battle to combat coronavirus in Southern California when he turned the focus of his company, originally meant to detect sepsis, to the pandemic.

The tests take a little over a day to process and have been among the quickest turnarounds in the region. Curative is processing about 5,000 test results daily and producing 20,000 test kits a day. The test has been used since March 21, but with this approval, Curative can further ramp up production and distribute nationwide.

The saliva tests pose less risk to health care workers than the tests that require a nurse to swab inside a person's nose. The company has been testing first responders in Los Angeles County.

With this authorization, the company said, it was prepared to start working with new distributors including healthcare systems, states, and city governments.

Hospitals, grocery stores and warehouses are all struggling to figure out how to keep essential workers safe. More than 22 million people have filed for unemployment since the pandemic erupted in the United States and employers are struggling to figure out how to keep essential workers safe.

Abbott Laboratories Inc. announced this week it would begin shipping a new coronavirus blood test that can tell whether a person has ever been infected with hopes of ramping up to to produce 20 million tests a month by June.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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GrayMatter Is Building Industrial Robots To Take Over the Jobs Humans Hate

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

​GrayMatter robotics working
Andria Moore courtesy of GrayMatter

Thousands of people across the country pay their bills by sanding and finishing mass-produced products. The process, as you might imagine, is often physically taxing.

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