BROOKLYN, N.Y., Feb. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Pandemic Response Lab (PRL) in New York, a first-in-class diagnostic life sciences company launched by Opentrons Labworks Inc., announced today that its scientists have discovered the first case of B1.351, the South African variant of COVID-19, in a New York State resident.

At least 10 other South African variant cases have been identified around the United States. 

The New York City-based PRL, which has been conducting high volume testing in the state since September 2020, began genome sequencing to track COVID-19 variants three weeks ago. Upon discovering this new variant in a New York resident, PRL notified federal, state and local public health officials.

“The Pandemic Response Lab is not only quickly, efficiently and cost effectively testing for COVID-19, our ability to track variants of concern is a critical advantage in the fight against the virus. We are proud and honored to be a part of this fight and look forward to bringing our innovations to all fifty states,” said Jonathan Brennan-Badal, CEO of Opentrons.


  • Using Opentrons proprietary technologies, PRL produces highly accurate PCR test results and next-generation viral genome sequencing at low cost. PRL provides 99% of PCR results in 24 hours or less and costs 50% less than the national average for tests.
  • PRL is expanding its sequencing capacity and is on track to meet public health sequencing needs.
  • PRL was selected last September by New York City to lead its COVID-19 testing process. PRL also provides testing services for other clients, including hospital systems and large employers.
  • Opentrons specializes in manufacturing innovative robotics automation solutions for health care. Its products are used in more than 2,000 labs in more than 40 countries. 

Contact: Steve Posner, [email protected], 202-841-1926

SOURCE The Pandemic Response Lab

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