LA County Drops Curative COVID Test After FDA Alert on Accuracy

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

LA County Drops Curative COVID Test After FDA Alert on Accuracy
Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

Los Angeles County officials announced Sunday they will no longer use Curative's COVID-19 tests at the county's pop-up testing sites after federal regulators issued an alert over its accuracy.

The move will impact a small number of county-run testing locations, said the L.A. startup's CEO Fred Turner. Curative tests will be replaced with tests from Fulgent Genetics, a Temple City-based lab.


The change will not affect the 10 testing sites supported by the city of L.A., including one at Dodger Stadium. Curative will continue to offer its oral swab test that patients can self-administer from inside their cars.

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of that test's "risk of false results, particularly false negative results."

An FDA spokesperson confirmed to dot.LA that new information prompted the organization to issue the advisory but she would not elaborate. The FDA will continue to review how the test performs for both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.

Omai Garner, the director of clinical microbiology at UCLA, said these warnings are often released in response to complaints.

The announcement raises broader questions about the types of tests administered by counties across the nation, Garner said. If RT-PCR nasal tests are 100% sensitive, he said, oral fluid tests like Curative's are about 80% sensitive.

"They have a good test," Garner said. "The challenge is that oral fluid itself is probably not a good source, especially in the asymptomatic patient."

He added: "This to me is part of a much larger problem than just sending samples to one laboratory."

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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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LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec
Photo by James Opas | Modified by Joshua Letona

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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