Robotic Liquid Handler, Donated by Kennedys, Increases University’s Daily Test Capacity
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation and the University of South Carolina are working together to expand COVID-19 testing for the Gamecock community.
The company and its owners, UofSC alums Lou and Bill Kennedy, have donated a brand new Opentrons robotic liquid handler to the university’s College of Pharmacy. The robotic liquid handler increases the number of COVID-19 tests college researchers can do each day.
“Stopping the spread of this deadly virus and returning to normal begins with reliable, accurate testing,” said Nephron owner and CEO Lou Kennedy. “That’s why we are excited to be working together with the very best researchers in the world, who call our great university home, on expanded COVID-19 screening as the entire state continues to re-open.”
University researchers have spent the past few months developing a COVID-19 testing pipeline. As a new school year approaches, the capacity to process a high volume of tests is essential to the process of welcoming the entire Gamecock family back to campus.
“In the upcoming months the university will be multiplying and operationalizing high-capacity testing, making it freely available to all students, faculty and staff,” said UofSC associate professor Phillip Buckhaults.
“This will help us identify those who are positive for COVID-19, who often do not know it, and they can better plan to quarantine and protect vulnerable people.”
A West Columbia, S.C.-based company, Nephron develops and produces safe, affordable generic inhalation solutions and suspension products, including those used to treat severe respiratory distress symptoms associated with COVID-19. The company also operates an industry-leading 503B Outsourcing Facility division which produces pre-filled sterile syringes and IV bags for hospitals across America, in an effort to alleviate their drug shortage needs. Nephron fills the needs of patients and health care professionals as they arise nationwide, and recently opened a CLIA-certified diagnostics lab.
“The University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy is grateful to Lou and Bill Kennedy and Nephron Pharmaceuticals for our strong and meaningful collaborations,” said Stephen J. Cutler, Dean of the College of Pharmacy. “The university will benefit tremendously from this generous gift during the implementation of the university’s Risk Mitigation Plan as we repopulate our campus.”