E’ville Biz: Emeryville Companies at Center of COVID-19 Fight

3 mins read

For this edition of our E’ville Biz aggregate of news stories, we’ve put a focus on Emeryville Companies that are involved in the ongoing fight to contain COVID-19 aka “the Coronavirus.”

Among these companies are Emeryville-based Berkeley Lights, Amyris, Dynavax, Lucira Health and Stanford Health Care. These companies are working diligently to help prevent, test for and eventually vaccinate against COVID-19.

Many of the current tests for coronavirus in the market today are run using a version of PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). PCR was in fact discovered here in Emeryville by Nobel prize winning scientist Kary Mullis who passed away last year.

Coronavirus Test: East Bay company to have hand-held COVID-19 testing devices ready by next month

By David Louie

An East Bay biotech company is racing to launch a portable COVID-19 test that promises results in under 15 minutes.

The need has never been greater

The spread of COVID-19 within senior care facilities underscores the need for a portable testing device that can confirm infections quickly. That’s why the team at Nanomix in Emeryville is working hard to get its device deployed. They already have the hand-held device and the cartridge in which the analysis is performed.

Read more on abc7news.com →

Researchers Worldwide Are Using Berkeley Lights’ Beacon Platform To Combat COVID-19

Berkeley Lights’ proprietary technology, the Beacon® optofluidic platform, is currently used by researchers across three continents—the U.S., China, and Australia—to help them find solutions for the Coronavirus.

Berkeley Lights, Inc., a leader in cell selection, is currently engaged with universities and medical centers in the U.S., China, and Australia who are looking to create vaccines and therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus or, simply, Coronavirus. Using Berkeley Lights’ proprietary technology, the Beacon® optofluidic platform, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and GenScript China are currently screening patient blood samples to find the necessary antibodies required to help develop a solution to the Coronavirus, while researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia are evaluating the Beacon platform as a means to expedite development of their recombinant subunit vaccine program.

Read the full Press Release on BerkeleyLights.com →

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Amyris Logo

Amyris Scales Up in Response to High Need for Its Hand Sanitizer and Wipe Products

The Synthetic Biology Leader Steps Out to Help Fight COVID-19

Amyris, Inc. (Nasdaq:AMRS), a global science and technology leader of pure, sustainable ingredients for the Health & Wellness, Clean Beauty and Flavors & Fragrances markets, today announced that initial production of its hand sanitizer has started with Allure Labs as its contract manufacturing and packaging partner. Amyris has also successfully replenished its popular baby wipes that have been out of stock in most channels as fast as they restock.

Read the full Press Release on amyris.com →

Dynavax Provides Business Update on COVID-19 Pandemic Impact

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: DVAX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel vaccines, today provided a business update in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on the Company’s operations.

“During the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have acted quickly to focus on four key areas,” commented Ryan Spencer, Chief Executive Officer of Dynavax. “These include safeguarding the health and safety of our employees and customers; continuing effective operations to ensure patient access to HEPLISAV-B; maintaining our financial strength and stability; and supporting efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The Company’s long-term value proposition remains unchanged, despite these short-term disruptions.”

Read the full Press Release on apnews.com →

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Stanford can administer about 630 drive-thru COVID-19 tests per day after new site opens on campus

The Galvez site brings Stanford Health Care’s drive-thru testing capacity to approximately 630 patients a day.

By Daniel Wu

Stanford Health Care expanded its capacity to administer tests for COVID-19 by opening a drive-thru testing site at the Galvez parking lot on campus on Wednesday.

The site will be able to test about 150 pre-approved patients a day, according to Stanford Health Care spokesperson Julie Greicius. Stanford Health Care now offers drive-thru testing at seven locations in the Bay Area, totaling a visit capacity of approximately 630 patients per day.

While five of these locations — Palo Alto, Pleasanton, Los Gatos, Menlo Park and Emeryville — only test adults, the on-campus sites at Galvez lot and Hoover Pavilion also test pediatric patients.

Read More on stanforddaily.com →

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

1 Comment

  1. Also moving to Emeryville is…less tec. but very needed.
    My daughter is in residency in Boston as is issued one mask a day.

    OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — Lesley Evers’ clothing store in Rockridge is closed for the time being due to the novel coronavirus, but is using this time to put her design skills to work.

    Evers is known for selling printed dresses, but since COVID-19 brought upon a shortage in masks, she began making cloth face masks.

    RELATED: Face covers, not surgical masks, recommended across Bay Area; health officials urge people to choose cloth material

    “Well, my brother and sister are both nurses, and when the virus started they both said, ‘you have to make masks,'” Evers said.

    Evers posted a picture of a mask on Facebook earlier this week and within 24 hours, people ordered more than 2,000 of them.

    The cloth masks are lined with an anti-microbial banner that could serve as a barrier, blocking germs, Evers explained.

    Jimmy Holliman, president of Pinole based company, Eonyx, specializes in working with conductive, polymer chemistries and is working with Evers in providing the inner lining.

    “Nobody’s ever been interested in our properties and codings until today,” Holliman said. “All of a sudden, everybody is looking for something more than the N-95 mask in terms of protection.”

    “We’re not going out, making any claims at this point. But we’re going to put the materials through a complete round of testing at all available laboratories,” Holliman says.

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