Spartan Bioscience files for creditor protection after identifying ‘problem’ with COVID-19 test
An Ottawa company that developed a rapid test device for COVID-19 said it sought creditors protection after discovering an undisclosed problem with the technology.
Spartan Bioscience Interim CEO Jennifer Ross-Carriere said on Tuesday through a spokesperson that the company had suspended shipments of its COVID-19 test cube while it worked to resolve the ” recently identified problem “.
“Due to this break in shipments, Spartan is seeking to protect itself from creditors who are working to restructure the business and refine the performance of the COVID-19 test in the field,” the Ross-Carriere statement said.
Spartan says it is laying off 60 employees, or about 70% of its workforce.
“We are incredibly committed to our technology, our customers and our partners, and will provide updates as soon as possible. Spartan remains committed to our vision of bringing our globally leading mobile DNA testing technology to the service of the fight against COVID-19, “says Ross-Carrière.
Spartan’s device, which the company says is about the size of a coffee cup, has been described as a potential game changer by health officials, with the company saying it could provide results on site in less than an hour using a polymerase chain reaction. (PCR) to get results.
The device was approved for use by Health Canada on January 22. Spartan said Health Canada’s authorization remains in place while it works with the federal agency to resolve the issue.