A liquid formula coating the inside of tubes preserves the sample while putting frontline workers at minimal risk of getting infected.

Irvine-Based Zymo Gets FDA Nod for Its Liquid 'Shield' Against COVID19

A liquid formula used to neutralize Ebola and other highly contagious diseases has now been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration to be used on the coronavirus.

Called the DNA/RNA Shield, the liquid is manufactured by the Irvine-based diagnostics company Zymo. It could potentially make it safer for thousands of frontline workers who handle samples.


Companies such as Curative, Fulgent Genetics and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub were already using Zymo's formula in its testing efforts under an emergency approval given by the FDA. But this clearance allows for more labs to use the product, created without seeking approval.

The liquid "shield" was created in 2012 by CEO Larry Jia, along with scientists Stanislav Forman and Luigi Basilio. It can coat tubes that lab workers use to store saliva or saliva swabs for up to 28 days at room temperature, altering and disintegrating lipids, proteins and enzymes in coronavirus samples, and allowing workers to collect and transport samples to testing labs with minimum risk of getting infected themselves.

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Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

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