CEO Chad Price and MAKO Medical Laboratories Invest in New Laboratory Automation

The national reference laboratory and leader in COVID-19 testing, MAKO Medical Laboratories has made a major investment in automation. The market-leading business is buying four new high-tech liquid handling automation systems. This is off the back of the company’s first successful system which is already installed in the business’ 70,000-square foot laboratory. The move allowed the lab to increase the COVID-19 testing capacity. Upon a positive evaluation, the company decided to purchase more systems.

“These new, automated systems are essential pieces of equipment for us as we live with the ongoing possibility of another surge of COVID-19 cases,” explained Matthew Tugwell, Director of Genomics at MAKO Medical Laboratories. “With the eventual addition of automation, MAKO will be better prepared for future surges and maintain our industry-leading turnaround time.”

MAKO Medical Laboratories — under the leadership of CEO Chad Price — was one of the first to use the Thermo Fisher Scientific’s KingFisher SpeciTRAX Sample Transfer System. The platform is set to change the future of the technology and testing world. Chad Price made the decision to employ the system during the COVID-19 pandemic when the demand for fast and accurate testing was at its peak. The change allowed him to quickly expand the testing capacity of one of the laboratories under the brand, the Henderson, N.C. facility.

“Automation provides additional efficiency and enhances MAKO’s ability to be agile and respond quickly to the nation’s testing needs,” said Josh Arant, COO, and co-founder at MAKO Medical Laboratories. “These specific automation systems are multi-functional and can be used across a multitude of testing specialties. “

Adding the system to the company’s repertoire was a savvy business move. Before the system came into play, a MAKO Medical Laboratories technician had the capacity to prepare eight places of specimens over the course of an eight-hour shift — equating to one 96-well plate every hour. However, with the implementation of the new system, individual technicians have been able to double that capacity. That means that a single technician can now prepare a massive 16 plates when they pull an eight-hour shift.  

“It definitely provides another layer of protection for us in terms of being able to ramp up quickly,” said Matthew Tugwell, Director of Genomics at MAKO Medical Laboratories. “This preparation system can do about 5,000 over the course of a 24-hour period. So adding that on top of the capacity that we already have truly augments what we’re already doing.”

Since implementing the Thermo Fisher Scientific’s KingFisher SpeciTRAX Sample Transfer System, MAKO Medical Laboratories has fully validated the new systems for testing specimens. Ahead of the new implementation of the laboratory automation system, CEO Chad Price and his team of experts have undertaken a full equipment evaluation program. The above allows them to foresee any potential issues in using the system in the future. 

The latest news is that Chad Price and other company decision-makers will be investing in four new systems. That has the potential to exponentially increase the testing laboratories’ capacity and offer clients a new, faster means of medical testing. Delivering accurate results in a speedy manner has always been at the forefront of the company mission. With that in mind, the latest investment allows the experts to continue to exceed expectations. 

Chad Price founded MAKO Medical Laboratories back in 2014 along with his brother and their friend. The company is now an American Pathologists (CAP) accredited laboratory and operates more than 70,000 square feet of space over two North Carolina facilities — in Henderson and Raleigh. When the COVID-19 pandemic started back in 2020, the ramifications were greater than anyone could have imagined. It was then that Chad Price increased the laboratories testing capabilities to keep up with the newfound influx of tests. At that time, the laboratories’ capacity for COVID-19 tests went from 50,000 per day to 150,000 per day. MAKO Medical Laboratories is now one of the market leaders in testing.

The track record of the company is astounding. Since April 2020, the company has processed more than 12 million individual COVID-19 tests. Across the two testing laboratories, MAKO Medical Laboratories uses the latest RT-PCR technology along with industry-leading testing assays. This unique combination means that the experts have the ability to offer the highest level of testing and research to the company’s wide range of clients. Additionally, the company has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) to offer the next-generation sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 . 

The MAKO Medical Laboratories vision is to set a higher standard while also serving as a diagnostics partner for health care providers across the country. Since launching the business has provided top-notch testing services to a selection of both private clients and companies. Taking the mystery out of the healthcare sector and offering 100% transparent services is the aim of the game. According to the MAKO Way, the company delivers turnkey services with the ultimate level of accuracy.