Biodesix signs deal to provide COVID testing for Chicago Public Schools

BOULDER — Biodesix Inc. (Nasdaq: BDSX) has landed a contract with Chicago Public Schools to provide COVID-19 testing for the country’s third-largest school district.

In a statement, the Boulder company said it will provide the tests as part of that district’s surveillance efforts for return to in-person instruction. Every teacher and in-school staffer will be offered a test twice a month, with zip codes that have higher community spread getting more tests more often. CPS counts more than 32,700 employees at its schools.

The Chicago Teachers Union approved the reopening plans last week and sent teachers back into schools last Thursday, avoiding a strike in the process.

The district only reopened elementary and middle schools due to anecdotal evidence from abroad suggesting that the virus can spread more aggressively in high schools than it does at institutions for younger students.

“Making highly sensitive COVID-19 testing available to our educators is an essential component of overall public health and safety as our families return to school and work,” Biodesix CEO Scott Hutton said in a statement.

While Biodesix was originally founded to develop genetic tests for lung cancer, the company pivoted to COVID-19 testing with partner company Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: BIO) after cancer-testing volumes declined with the cancellation of many non-COVID-related services at hospitals around the world.

In its latest quarterly report, Biodesix said that it generated $6.9 million in revenues in the first three quarters of 2020 from COVID-19 testing out of $15.8 million in overall diagnostics revenue.

The company has been tapped to provide testing for Colorado State University and Purdue University, and either fully or partly managed testing for last year’s Major League Lacrosse season and the Big Ten college athletics conference.

It’s unclear if Biodesix is the sole provider of tests for the district, or how much of a revenue stream it could get from the deal. The company did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.

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BOULDER — Biodesix Inc. (Nasdaq: BDSX) has landed a contract with Chicago Public Schools to provide COVID-19 testing for the country’s third-largest school district.

In a statement, the Boulder company said it will provide the tests as part of that district’s surveillance efforts for return to in-person instruction. Every teacher and in-school staffer will be offered a test twice a month, with zip codes that have higher community spread getting more tests more often. CPS counts more than 32,700 employees at its schools.

The Chicago Teachers Union approved the reopening plans last week and sent teachers back into schools last Thursday, avoiding a strike in the process.

The district only reopened elementary and middle schools due to anecdotal evidence from abroad suggesting that the virus can spread more aggressively in high schools than it does at institutions for younger students.

“Making highly sensitive COVID-19 testing available to our educators is an essential component of overall public health and safety as our families return to school and work,” Biodesix CEO Scott Hutton said in a statement.

While Biodesix was originally founded to develop genetic tests for lung cancer, the company pivoted to COVID-19 testing with partner company Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: BIO) after cancer-testing volumes declined with the cancellation of many non-COVID-related services at hospitals around the world.

In its latest quarterly report, Biodesix said that it generated $6.9 million in revenues in the first three quarters of 2020 from COVID-19 testing out of $15.8 million in overall diagnostics revenue.

The company has been tapped to…